- to withhold or deny consent to do, enter into or upon, etc.; refuse: He declined to say more about it.
- to express inability or reluctance to accept; refuse with courtesy: to decline an invitation; to decline an offer.
- to cause to slope or incline downward.
- to inflect (a noun, pronoun, or adjective), as Latin puella, declined puella, puellae, puellae, puellam, puella in the five cases of the singular.
- to recite or display all or some subset of the inflected forms of a noun, pronoun, or adjective in a fixed order.
- to express courteous refusal; refuse: We sent him an invitation but he declined.
- to bend or slant down; slope downward; descend: The hill declines to the lake.
- (of pathways, routes, objects, etc.) to follow a downward course or path: The sun declined in the skies.
- to draw toward the close, as the day.
- to fail in strength, vigor, character, value, etc.; deteriorate.
- to fail or dwindle; sink or fade away: to decline in popularity.
- to descend, as to an unworthy level; stoop.
- Grammar. to be characterized by declension.
- a downward slope; declivity.
- a downward movement, as of prices or population; diminution: a decline in the stock market.
- a failing or gradual loss, as in strength, character, power, or value; deterioration: the decline of the Roman Empire.
- a gradual deterioration of the physical powers, as in later life or in disease: After his seventieth birthday he went into a decline.
- progress downward or toward the close, as of the sun or the day.
- the later years or last part: He became an editor in the decline of his life.
Origin of decline
SynonymsSee more synonyms for decline on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for declined
The Italian foreign ministry has declined to comment on the video.Jihadis Release New Year’s Eve Video of Italian Female Hostages
Jamie Dettmer, Barbie Latza Nadeau
January 2, 2015
She adds that they continued to email, but “finally, in so many words, he declined to be interviewed.”The Deal With Serial’s Jay? He’s Pissed Off, Mucks Up Our Timeline
December 31, 2014
Fossella declined to run again, but in the years since he has mused aloud about challenging Grimm.Will Dirty Pol Vito Fossella Replace Dirty Pol Michael Grimm?
December 31, 2014
But the current pontiff, for reasons one might fully understand, declined to meet the would-be papal assassin.Pope-Shooter Ali Agca’s Very Weird Vatican Visit
Barbie Latza Nadeau
December 29, 2014
Abu Faour declined repeated requests to comment for this article.A Sunni-Shia Love Story Imperiled by al Qaeda
December 26, 2014
He said, coolly, that he would relieve me of the duty, but I declined his obliging offer.Brave and Bold
But Mr. Gladstone, while acknowledging the compliment, declined because of his age.
Mr. Gladstone was invited to the vacant place, but declined.
"Come, George, fill up your glass," said Ashton repeatedly; but George declined.Life in London
Handel declined the invitation, but resolved to go to Italy as soon as he could do so "on his own bottom."Handel
Edward J. Dent
- to refuse to do or accept (something), esp politely
- (intr) to grow smaller; diminishdemand has declined over the years
- to slope or cause to slope downwards
- (intr) to deteriorate gradually, as in quality, health, or character
- grammar to state or list the inflections of (a noun, adjective, or pronoun), or (of a noun, adjective, or pronoun) to be inflected for number, case, or genderCompare conjugate (def. 1)
- gradual deterioration or loss
- a movement downwards or towards something smaller; diminution
- a downward slope; declivity
- archaic any slowly progressive disease, such as tuberculosis
Word Origin and History for declined
early 14c., "deterioration, degeneration," from Old French declin (see decline (v.)).
late 14c., "to turn aside, deviate," from Old French decliner "to sink, decline, degenerate, turn aside," from Latin declinare "to lower, avoid, deviate, to bend from, inflect," from de- "from" (see de-) + clinare "to bend," from PIE *klei-n-, suffixed form of *klei- "to lean" (see lean (v.)). Sense has been altered since c.1400 by interpretation of de- as "downward." Meaning "not to consent, politely refuse," is from 1630s. Related: Declined; declining.