Declension De*clen"sion, n. [Apparently corrupted fr. F. d['e]clinaison, fr. L. declinatio, fr. declinare. See {Decline}, and cf. {Declination}.] 1. The act or the state of declining; declination; descent; slope. [1913 Webster]

The declension of the land from that place to the sea. --T. Burnet. [1913 Webster]

2. A falling off towards a worse state; a downward tendency; deterioration; decay; as, the declension of virtue, of science, of a state, etc. [1913 Webster]

Seduced the pitch and height of all his thoughts To base declension. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

3. Act of courteously refusing; act of declining; a declinature; refusal; as, the declension of a nomination. [1913 Webster]

4. (Gram.) (a) Inflection of nouns, adjectives, etc., according to the grammatical cases. (b) The form of the inflection of a word declined by cases; as, the first or the second declension of nouns, adjectives, etc. (c) Rehearsing a word as declined. [1913 Webster]

Note: The nominative was held to be the primary and original form, and was likened to a perpendicular line; the variations, or oblique cases, were regarded as fallings (hence called casus, cases, or fallings) from the nominative or perpendicular; and an enumerating of the various forms, being a sort of progressive descent from the noun's upright form, was called a declension. --Harris. [1913 Webster]

{Declension of the needle}, declination of the needle. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • declension — mid 15c., ultimately from L. declinationem (nom. declinatio), noun of action from pp. stem of declinare (see DECLINE (Cf. decline)); perhaps via French; the form is irregular, and its history obscure [OED] …   Etymology dictionary

  • declension — decline, decadence, *deterioration, degeneration, devolution Analogous words: decaying or decay, disintegration, crumbling (see corresponding verbs at DECAY): retrogressiveness or retrogression, regressiveness or regression (see corresponding… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

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  • declension — /di klen sheuhn/, n. 1. Gram. a. the inflection of nouns, pronouns, and adjectives for categories such as case and number. b. the whole set of inflected forms of such a word, or the recital thereof in a fixed order. c. a class of such words… …   Universalium

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