Definitions for: Decline

[n] a downward slope or bend
[n] a gradual decrease; as of stored charge or current
[n] change toward something smaller or lower
[n] a condition inferior to an earlier condition; a gradual falling off from a better state
[v] grow worse; "Conditions in the slum worsened"
[v] grow smaller; "Interest in the project waned"
[v] show unwillingness towards
[v] of nouns, pronouns, and adjectives
[v] go down
[v] refuse to accept; "He refused my offer of hospitality"

Webster (1913) Definition: 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.''

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

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

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

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.

De*cline", v. t.
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

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

After the first declining of a noun and a verb.

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

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.

Their fathers lived in the decline of literature.

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

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

Synonyms: decay, declension, declination, declination, declivity, descent, diminution, downslope, fall, go down, pass up, refuse, refuse, reject, turn down, wane, worsen

Antonyms: accept, accept, acclivity, ameliorate, ascent, better, climb, consent, go for, have, improve, improvement, meliorate, melioration, raise, rise, take, upgrade

See Also: bounce, change state, come down, condition, contract out, declension, decline in quality, decrease, decrease, decrement, degenerate, deprive, deteriorate, deterioration, diminish, dip, dip, disdain, dishonor, dishonour, disobey, disuse, downhill, drop, drop, drop away, drop off, drop-off, ebb, ebbing, exponential decay, exponential return, fail, fall, fall away, falling off, falloff, freeze off, impoverish, incline, inflame, inflect, lessen, lose, loss, neglect, pooh-pooh, regress, regret, reject, repudiate, retrograde, retrogress, scorn, sicken, side, sink, sinking spell, slack, slip, slippage, slope, slump, spurn, status, steep, suffer, tumble, turn, turn down, turn down, twilight, wane, wear on, worsening, wreck

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