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 decline of strength; the decline of virtue and religion. [1913 Webster]

Their fathers lived in the decline of literature. --Swift. [1913 Webster]

2. (Med.) That period of a disorder or paroxysm when the symptoms begin to abate in violence; as, the decline of a fever. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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. 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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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