4 definitions found

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Decline \De*cline"\, verb (used without an object) [imp. & p. p. {Declined}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Declining}.] [OE. declinen to bend down, lower, sink, decline (a noun), F. d['e]cliner to decline, refuse, fr. L. declinare to turn aside, inflect (a part of speech), avoid; de- + clinare to incline; akin to E. lean. See {Lean}, verb (used without an object)]

1. To bend, or lean downward; to take a downward direction; to bend over or hang down, as from weakness, weariness, despondency, etc.; to condescend. "With declining head." --Shak.

He . . . would decline even to the lowest of his family. --Lady Hutchinson.

Disdaining to decline, Slowly he falls, amidst triumphant cries. --Byron.

The ground at length became broken and declined rapidly. --Sir W. Scott.

2. To tend or draw towards a close, decay, or extinction; to tend to a less perfect state; to become diminished or impaired; to fail; to sink; to diminish; to lessen; as, the day declines; virtue declines; religion declines; business declines.

That empire must decline Whose chief support and sinews are of coin. --Waller.

And presume to know . . . Who thrives, and who declines. --Shak.

3. To turn or bend aside; to deviate; to stray; to withdraw; as, a line that declines from straightness; conduct that declines from sound morals.

Yet do I not decline from thy testimonies. --Ps. cxix. 157.

4. To turn away; to shun; to refuse; -- the opposite of accept or consent; as, he declined, upon principle.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Decline \De*cline"\, noun [F. d['e]clin. See {Decline}, verb (used without an object)]

1. A falling off; a tendency to a worse state; diminution or decay; deterioration; also, the period when a thing is tending toward extinction or a less perfect state; as, the decline of life; the decline of strength; the decline of virtue and religion.

Their fathers lived in the decline of literature. --Swift.

2. (Med.) That period of a disorder or paroxysm when the symptoms begin to abate in violence; as, the decline of a fever.

3. A gradual sinking and wasting away of the physical faculties; any wasting disease, esp. pulmonary consumption; as, to die of a decline. --Dunglison.

Syn: {Decline}, {Decay}, {Consumption}.

Usage: Decline marks the first stage in a downward progress; decay indicates the second stage, and denotes a tendency to ultimate destruction; consumption marks a steady decay from an internal exhaustion of strength. The health may experience a decline from various causes at any period of life; it is naturally subject to decay with the advance of old age; consumption may take place at almost any period of life, from disease which wears out the constitution. In popular language decline is often used as synonymous with consumption. By a gradual decline, states and communities lose their strength and vigor; by progressive decay, they are stripped of their honor, stability, and greatness; by a consumption of their resources and vital energy, they are led rapidly on to a completion of their existence.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Decline \De*cline"\, verb (used with an object)

1. To bend downward; to bring down; to depress; to cause to bend, or fall.

In melancholy deep, with head declined. --Thomson.

And now fair Phoebus gan decline in haste His weary wagon to the western vale. --Spenser.

2. To cause to decrease or diminish. [Obs.] "You have declined his means." --Beau. & Fl.

He knoweth his error, but will not seek to decline it. --Burton.

3. To put or turn aside; to turn off or away from; to refuse to undertake or comply with; reject; to shun; to avoid; as, to decline an offer; to decline a contest; he declined any participation with them.

Could I Decline this dreadful hour? --Massinger.

4. (Gram.) To inflect, or rehearse in order the changes of grammatical form of; as, to decline a noun or an adjective.

Note: Now restricted to such words as have case inflections; but formerly it was applied both to declension and conjugation.

After the first declining of a noun and a verb. --Ascham.

5. To run through from first to last; to repeat like a schoolboy declining a noun. [R.] --Shak.

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:



1: change toward something smaller or lower [syn: {decline}, {diminution}]

2: a condition inferior to an earlier condition; a gradual falling off from a better state [syn: {decline}, {declination}] [ant: {improvement}, {melioration}]

3: a gradual decrease; as of stored charge or current [syn: {decay}, {decline}]

4: a downward slope or bend [syn: {descent}, {declivity}, {fall}, {decline}, {declination}, {declension}, {downslope}] [ant: {acclivity}, {ascent}, {climb}, {raise}, {rise}, {upgrade}]


1: grow worse; "Conditions in the slum worsened" [syn: {worsen}, {decline}] [ant: {ameliorate}, {better}, {improve}, {meliorate}]

2: refuse to accept; "He refused my offer of hospitality" [syn: {refuse}, {reject}, {pass up}, {turn down}, {decline}] [ant: {accept}, {have}, {take}]

3: show unwillingness towards; "he declined to join the group on a hike" [syn: {refuse}, {decline}] [ant: {accept}, {consent}, {go for}]

4: grow smaller; "Interest in the project waned" [syn: {decline}, {go down}, {wane}]

5: go down; "The roof declines here"

6: go down in value; "the stock market corrected"; "prices slumped" [syn: {decline}, {slump}, {correct}]

7: inflect for number, gender, case, etc., "in many languages, speakers decline nouns, pronouns, and adjectives"

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