[dih-pree-shee-ey-shuh n]


decrease in value due to wear and tear, decay, decline in price, etc.
such a decrease as allowed in computing the value of property for tax purposes.
a decrease in the purchasing or exchange value of money.
a lowering in estimation.

Origin of depreciation

An Americanism dating back to 1730–40; depreciate + -ion
Related formsnon·de·pre·ci·a·tion, nounpre·de·pre·ci·a·tion, nounre·de·pre·ci·a·tion, nounun·der·de·pre·ci·a·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for depreciation

reduction, slump, deflation, fall

Examples from the Web for depreciation

Contemporary Examples of depreciation

Historical Examples of depreciation

  • "There's a good view from the window," he said to console her for his depreciation of the picture.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • But there were social as well as moral reasons for the depreciation of Malory and Boccaccio.

    John Lyly

    John Dover Wilson

  • This is not said in depreciation of England's military powers.

  • It may put on the garb of humility, and use the language of depreciation.

  • If neither is undertaken, depreciation sets in all the faster.

British Dictionary definitions for depreciation



  1. the reduction in value of a fixed asset due to use, obsolescence, etc
  2. the amount deducted from gross profit to allow for such reduction in value
accounting a modified amount permitted for purposes of tax deduction
the act or an instance of depreciating or belittling; disparagement
a decrease in the exchange value of currency against gold or other currencies brought about by excess supply of that currency under conditions of fluctuating exchange ratesCompare devaluation (def. 1)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for depreciation

1767, "a lowering of value" (originally of currency), noun of action from depreciate. Meaning "loss of value of a durable good by age or wear" is from 1900.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

depreciation in Culture



A decline over time in the value of a tangible asset, such as a house or car.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.