Decline De*cline", v. i. [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}, v. i.] 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. [1913 Webster]

He . . . would decline even to the lowest of his family. --Lady Hutchinson. [1913 Webster]

Disdaining to decline, Slowly he falls, amidst triumphant cries. --Byron. [1913 Webster]

The ground at length became broken and declined rapidly. --Sir W. Scott. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

That empire must decline Whose chief support and sinews are of coin. --Waller. [1913 Webster]

And presume to know . . . Who thrives, and who declines. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

Yet do I not decline from thy testimonies. --Ps. cxix. 157. [1913 Webster]

4. To turn away; to shun; to refuse; -- the opposite of accept or consent; as, he declined, upon principle. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Decline — De*cline , n. [F. d[ e]clin. See {Decline}, v. i.] 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Decline — is a change over time from previously efficient to inefficient organizational functioning, from previously rational to non rational organizational and individual decision making, from previously law abiding to law violating organizational and… …   Wikipedia

  • Decline — De*cline , v. t. 1. To bend downward; to bring down; to depress; to cause to bend, or fall. [1913 Webster] In melancholy deep, with head declined. Thomson. [1913 Webster] And now fair Phoebus gan decline in haste His weary wagon to the western… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • decline — vb Decline, refuse, reject, repudiate, spurn are comparable when they mean to turn away something or someone by not consenting to accept, receive, or consider it or him. Decline is the most courteous of these terms and is used chiefly in respect… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • decline — [n1] lessening abatement, backsliding, comedown, cropper*, decay, decrepitude, degeneracy, degeneration, descent, deterioration, devolution, diminution, dissolution, dive, downfall, downgrade, downturn, drop, dwindling, ebb, ebbing, enfeeblement …   New thesaurus

  • decline — [dē klīn′, diklīn′] vi. declined, declining [ME declinen < OFr decliner, to bend, turn aside < L declinare, to bend from, inflect < de , from (see DE ) + clinare, to bend: see LEAN1] 1. to bend, turn, or slope downward or aside 2. a) …   English World dictionary

  • decline — I noun abatement, act of crumbling, act of dwindling, act of falling away, act of lessening, act of losing ground, act of shrinking, act of slipping back, act of wasting away, act of weakening, act of worsening, atrophy, backward step, cheapening …   Law dictionary

  • décliné — ⇒DÉCLINÉ, ÉE, part. passé et adj. I. Part. passé de décliner1. II. Adj. Qui s écarte d une direction donnée. A. [En parlant d un astre] Qui retombe après avoir atteint son point culminant. Les feux des soleils déclinés (RÉGNIER, Prem. poèmes,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • décliné — décliné, ée (dé kli né, née) part. passé. 1°   Fléchi suivant les règles de la déclinaison. Un mot décliné. 2°   Terme de procédure. Dont on n accepte pas la compétence. Cette juridiction déclinée par les parties.    Par extension, refusé. Une… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • decline — ► VERB 1) become smaller, weaker, or less in quality or quantity. 2) politely refuse. 3) (especially of the sun) move downwards. 4) Grammar form (a noun, pronoun, or adjective) according to case, number, and gender. ► NOUN ▪ a gradual and… …   English terms dictionary

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