[ 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

1565–75; <Late Latin dēteriōrātus made worse (past participle of dēteriōrāre), equivalent to Latin dēterior worse ( from + -ter- formative in adjectives of spatial orientation (cf. exterior, interior) + -ior comparative suffix) + -ātus-ate1

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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