What does decline mean?

Definitions for decline

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word decline.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. decline, diminution(noun)

    change toward something smaller or lower

  2. decline, declination(noun)

    a condition inferior to an earlier condition; a gradual falling off from a better state

  3. decay, decline(noun)

    a gradual decrease; as of stored charge or current

  4. descent, declivity, fall, decline, declination, declension, downslope(verb)

    a downward slope or bend

  5. worsen, decline(verb)

    grow worse

    "Conditions in the slum worsened"

  6. refuse, reject, pass up, turn down, decline(verb)

    refuse to accept

    "He refused my offer of hospitality"

  7. refuse, decline(verb)

    show unwillingness towards

    "he declined to join the group on a hike"

  8. decline, go down, wane(verb)

    grow smaller

    "Interest in the project waned"

  9. decline(verb)

    go down

    "The roof declines here"

  10. decline, slump, correct(verb)

    go down in value

    "the stock market corrected"; "prices slumped"

  11. decline(verb)

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


  1. decline(Noun)

    Downward movement, fall.

  2. decline(Noun)

    A sloping downward, e.g. of a hill or road.

  3. decline(Noun)

    A weakening.

  4. decline(Noun)

    A reduction or diminution of activity.

  5. decline(Verb)

    To move downwards, to fall, to drop.

    The dollar has declined rapidly since 2001.

  6. decline(Verb)

    To become weaker or worse.

    My health declined in winter.

  7. decline(Verb)

    To refuse, forbear.

    On reflection I think I will decline your generous offer.

  8. decline(Verb)

    To list the inflected forms of a noun, pronoun (and in some languages adjective) for case and number.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Decline(verb)

    to bend, or lean downward; to take a downward direction; to bend over or hang down, as from weakness, weariness, despondency, etc.; to condescend

  2. Decline(verb)

    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

  3. Decline(verb)

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

  4. Decline(verb)

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

  5. Decline(verb)

    to bend downward; to bring down; to depress; to cause to bend, or fall

  6. Decline(verb)

    to cause to decrease or diminish

  7. Decline(verb)

    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

  8. Decline(verb)

    to inflect, or rehearse in order the changes of grammatical form of; as, to decline a noun or an adjective

  9. Decline(verb)

    to run through from first to last; to repeat like a schoolboy declining a noun

  10. Decline(verb)

    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

  11. Decline(verb)

    that period of a disorder or paroxysm when the symptoms begin to abate in violence; as, the decline of a fever

  12. Decline(verb)

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

  13. Origin: [OE. declinen to bend down, lower, sink, decline (a noun), F. dcliner 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. Decline

    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 individual behavior, from previously virtuous to iniquitous individual moral behavior. Note: The word decline should not be confused with the word obsolete. Decline refers to the degenerating of something whereas obsolete refers to the outdating of something or that it is no longer in use. It is the process of declining, a gradual sinking and wasting away. Social decline or moral decline is typically characterised as reduced adherence to cultural or social norms or values and widespread lapses in ethical behavior.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Decline

    de-klīn′, v.i. to bend or turn away from (a straight line); to deviate: to refuse: to bend down: to fail or decay: to stoop or condescend: to draw to an end.—v.t. to bend down: to turn away from: to refuse: to avoid: (gram.) to give the changes of a word in the oblique cases.—n. a falling off: deviation: decay: a gradual sinking of the bodily faculties, consumption.—adjs. Declin′able, having inflection for the oblique cases; Declī′nal, bending downward; Dec′linant (her.), having the tail hanging down—also Dec′livant.—ns. Declinā′tion, act of declining: a sloping or bending downward: deviation: (astron.) distance from the celestial equator; Dec′linātor, an instrument determining declination.—adj. Declin′atory, containing a declination or refusal—ns. Declin′ature, act of declining or refusing: (law) a plea declining the jurisdiction of a judge; Declinom′eter, an instrument for measuring the declination of the compass—i.e. the deviation of the magnetic needle from the true north. [Fr. décliner—L. de, down, away from, clināre, to bend. See Lean.]

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'decline' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2442

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'decline' in Nouns Frequency: #1088

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'decline' in Verbs Frequency: #529

How to pronounce decline?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say decline in sign language?

  1. decline


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of decline in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of decline in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of decline in a Sentence

  1. Scott Minerd:

    That decline would be easy.

  2. Mikhail Kasyanov:

    Russia is going into decline.

  3. Dick DeGuerin:

    I decline to publicly discuss our strategy.

  4. Linn Huang:

    There’s a severe decline of the slate market.

  5. Steve Penny:

    I respectfully decline to answer your question.

Images & Illustrations of decline

  1. declinedeclinedeclinedeclinedecline

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for decline

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • رفArabic
  • праскланя́ць, скланя́цьBelarusian
  • упадък, наклонявам се надолу, склон, отказвам, скланям, влошавам се, западане, западам, спадам, влошаванеBulgarian
  • declivi, declinar-se, caiguda, refusar, declinar, debilitar-seCatalan, Valencian
  • skloňovat, pokles, klesat, odmítnoutCzech
  • sinken, Fall, zurückgehen, Rückgang, ablehnen, abnehmen, deklinieren, Abnahme, fallen, GefälleGerman
  • declinar, rechazarSpanish
  • کاهش می یابدPersian
  • alamäki, taivuttaa, lasku, heikentyä, heikentyminen, laskea, pudotus, heiketä, pudota, kieltäytyäFinnish
  • bendaFaroese
  • refuser, accorderFrench
  • meath, meathlú, meathlaighIrish
  • claon, rach bhuaitheScottish Gaelic
  • ירידה, נחלש, היחלשות, היטה, ירד, סירב, נפילה, דחהHebrew
  • refizeHaitian Creole
  • hanyatlik, gyengül, hanyatlásHungarian
  • declinareItalian
  • ბრუნებაGeorgian
  • abnegō, declinesLatin
  • afname, helling, achteruitgaan, afwijzen, afzwakken, verzwakking, verbuigen, verval, terugval, achteruitgang, afnemen, weigeren, vervallen, terugvallen, verzwakkenDutch
  • avslåNorwegian
  • deklinować, [[odmieniać]] ([[przez]] [[przypadekPolish
  • declive, declinar, declínio, recusarPortuguese
  • спад, склонять, упадок, уклон, ухудшение, склон, сокращение, спускRussian
  • одбити, odbitiSerbo-Croatian
  • medlut, utförsbacke, nedförsbackeSwedish
  • 下降Chinese

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"decline." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 14 Dec. 2019. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/decline>.

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