Definition of Decline

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.
[imp. & p. p. Declined ; p. pr. & vb. n. Declining.]
He . . . would decline even to the lowest of his family.
- Lady Hutchinson.
Disdaining to decline,
Slowly he falls, amidst triumphant cries.
- Byron.
The ground at length became broken and declined rapidly.
- Sir W. Scott.
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.
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.
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 adjective.
After the first declining of a noun and a verb.
- Ascham.
5.To run through from first to last; to repeat like a schoolboy declining a noun.
n.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.
- Swift.
2.(Med.) That period of a disorder or paroxysm when the symptoms begin to abate in violence; as, the decline of a fever.
3.A gradual sinking and wasting away of the physical faculties; any wasting disease, esp. pulmonary consumption; as, to die of a decline.

Related Words

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Declension of the needle
Declination compass
Declination of the compass
declination of the needle
Declinatory plea
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