[ dih-teer-ee-uh-reyt ]
See synonyms for: deterioratedeteriorateddeteriorating on

verb (used with or without object),de·te·ri·o·rat·ed, de·te·ri·o·rat·ing.
  1. to make or become worse or inferior in condition, character, quality, value, etc.

  2. to disintegrate or wear away.

Origin of deteriorate

First recorded in 1565–75; from Late Latin dēteriōrātus “made worse,” past participle of dēteriōrāre “to make worse,” from Latin dēterior “worse,” from de- + -ter-, element in adjectives relating to spatial orientation + -ior, comparative suffix; cf. exterior, interior

Other words for deteriorate

Other words from deteriorate

  • de·te·ri·o·ra·tive, adjective
  • un·de·te·ri·o·rat·ed, adjective
  • un·de·te·ri·o·ra·tive, adjective

Words Nearby deteriorate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use deteriorate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for deteriorate


/ (dɪˈtɪərɪəˌreɪt) /

  1. to make or become worse or lower in quality, value, character, etc; depreciate

  2. (intr) to wear away or disintegrate

Origin of deteriorate

C16: from Late Latin dēteriōrāre, from Latin dēterior worse

Derived forms of deteriorate

  • deterioration, noun
  • deteriorative, adjective

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