Decline meaning

dĭ-klīn'
Decline is defined as to refuse something, slope downward, become less or to sink from view.

An example of decline is someone saying no when they've been asked out to dinner.

An example of decline is a ski run.

An example of decline is the unemployment rate going from 9% to 7.5%.

An example of decline is the sun setting in the West.

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The definition of a decline is a lessening or failing.

An example of decline is the collapse of the Roman Empire.

An example of decline is the quality of a glass of milk as it starts to sour over time.

An example of decline is the failing health of someone with cancer.

noun
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To express polite refusal.

I wanted to invite them but I was afraid they would decline.

verb
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To degrade or lower oneself; stoop.

Refused to decline to their level of behavior.

verb
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To deteriorate gradually; fail.

His health has been declining for years.

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To slope downward; descend.

The roof declines at a steep angle.

verb
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To bend downward; droop.

Boughs declining toward the ground.

verb
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To sink, as the setting sun.
verb
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To draw to a gradual close.

We made our way home as the day declined.

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To refuse politely.

I declined their offer of help.

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To cause to slope or bend downward.
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To inflect (a noun, a pronoun, or an adjective) for number and case.
verb
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The process or result of declining, especially:
  • A gradual deterioration, as in numbers, activity, or quality.
  • A downward movement or fall, as in price.
  • A deterioration of health.
    The patient's rapid decline.
noun
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A downward slope; a declivity.

The sharp decline of the dunes to the sea.

noun
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To bend, turn, or slope downward or aside.
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To lessen in force, health, value, etc.; deteriorate; decay.
verb
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To descend to behavior that is base or immoral.
verb
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To refuse to accept or do something, esp. in a way that is formally polite.
verb
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To sink, as the setting sun.
verb
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To approach the end; wane.

The day is declining.

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To cause to bend or slope downward or aside.
verb
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To refuse, esp. in a formally polite way.

I must decline your offer.

verb
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To inflect (a noun, pronoun, or adjective) systematically, giving its different forms according to case, number, and gender.
verb
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A declining or becoming less, smaller, etc.; decay.
noun
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A failing of health, etc.
noun
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A period of decline.
noun
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The last part.

The decline of life.

noun
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A wasting disease.
noun
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A downward slope.
noun
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To deteriorate gradually; fail.

Health that has been declining for years.

verb
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The process or result of declining, especially a deterioration of health.

The patient's rapid decline.

noun
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A sloping downward, e.g. of a hill or road.
noun
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​A weakening.
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(intransitive) To move downwards, to fall, to drop.

The dollar has declined rapidly since 2001.

verb
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(intransitive) To become weaker or worse.

My health declined in winter.

verb
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To bend downward; to bring down; to depress; to cause to bend, or fall.
verb
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To cause to decrease or diminish.
verb
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To turn or bend aside; to deviate; to stray; to withdraw.

A line that declines from straightness.

Conduct that declines from sound morals.

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On reflection I think I will decline your generous offer.

verb
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(grammar, of substantives, usually nouns, adjectives and pronouns) To inflect for case, number and sometimes gender.
verb
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(by extension) To run through from first to last; to repeat like a schoolboy declining a noun.

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Origin of decline

From Middle English declinen, from Old French decliner, from Latin declinare (“to bend, turn aside, deflect, inflect, decline”), from de (“down”) + clīnō (“I bend, I incline”), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱley- (English lean).