- Deteriorate is defined as to make or become worse or lower in value or quality.
- An example of deteriorate is a child's mood going from happy to crying.
- An example of deteriorate is an orange going from ripe to moldy.
intransitive verbdeteriorated, deteriorating
to make or become worse; lower in quality or value; depreciate
Origin of deteriorate; from Late Latin deterioratus, past participle of deteriorare, to make worse ; from Classical Latin deterior, worse, inferior ; from an unverified form deter, below ; from de-, from + -ter, comparative suffix
verbde·te·ri·o·rat·ed, de·te·ri·o·rat·ing, de·te·ri·o·rates
To diminish or impair in quality, character, or value: Time and neglect had deteriorated the property.
- To grow worse; degenerate: The weather deteriorated overnight.
- To weaken or disintegrate; decay: The nation's highways are deteriorating at a rapid pace.
Origin of deteriorateLate Latin dēteriōrāre, dēteriōrāt-, from Latin dēterior, worse; see de- in Indo-European roots.