• WordNet 3.6
    • v decline grow worse "Conditions in the slum worsened"
    • v decline grow smaller "Interest in the project waned"
    • v decline show unwillingness towards "he declined to join the group on a hike"
    • v decline inflect for number, gender, case, etc., "in many languages, speakers decline nouns, pronouns, and adjectives"
    • v decline go down in value "the stock market corrected","prices slumped"
    • v decline go down "The roof declines here"
    • v decline refuse to accept "He refused my offer of hospitality"
    • n decline a downward slope or bend
    • n decline a gradual decrease; as of stored charge or current
    • n decline change toward something smaller or lower
    • n decline a condition inferior to an earlier condition; a gradual falling off from a better state
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Albert Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel in 1952, but he declined
    • Decline 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."
    • Decline A gradual sinking and wasting away of the physical faculties; any wasting disease, esp. pulmonary consumption; as, to die of a decline .
    • Decline (Med) That period of a disorder or paroxysm when the symptoms begin to abate in violence; as, the decline of a fever.
    • Decline To bend downward; to bring down; to depress; to cause to bend, or fall. "In melancholy deep, with head declined .""And now fair Phoebus gan decline in haste
      His weary wagon to the western vale."
    • Decline 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.""Disdaining to decline ,
      Slowly he falls, amidst triumphant cries."
      "The ground at length became broken and declined rapidly."
    • Decline To cause to decrease or diminish. "You have declined his means.""He knoweth his error, but will not seek to decline it."
    • Decline (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."
    • Decline 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?"
    • Decline To run through from first to last; to repeat like a schoolboy declining a noun.
    • Decline 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.""And presume to know . . . Who thrives, and who declines ."
    • Decline To turn away; to shun; to refuse; -- the opposite of accept or consent; as, he declined, upon principle.
    • Decline 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."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: In 1965, Congress authorized the Secret Service to protect former presidents and their spouses for their lifetime, unless they decline the protection. Recently, Congress limited the protection of former presidents and their spouses (elected after January 1, 1997) to 10 years after leaving office. President Clinton, who was elected in 1996, will be the last president to receive lifelong protection from the Secret Service.
    • decline To cause to bend or slope; bend down; incline; cause to assume an inclined position; depress.
    • decline To lower; degrade; debase.
    • decline To decrease; diminish; reduce.
    • decline To cause to deviate from a straight or right course; turn aside; deflect.
    • decline To turn aside from; deviate from.
    • decline To avoid by moving out of the way; shun; avoid in general.
    • decline To refuse; refuse or withhold consent to do, accept, or enter upon: as, to decline a contest; to decline an offer.
    • decline In grammar, to inflect, as a noun or an adjective; give the case-forms of a noun or an adjective in their order: as, dominus, domini, domino, dominum, domine. Synonyms See refuse.
    • decline To bend or slant down; assume an inclined position; hang down; slope or trend downward; descend: as, the sun declines toward the west.
    • decline To deviate from a right line; specifically, to deviate from a line passing through the north and south points.
    • decline To deviate from a course or an object; turn aside; fall away; wander.
    • decline To sink to a lower level; sink down; hence, figuratively, to fall into an inferior or impaired condition; lose strength, vigor, character, or value; fall off; deteriorate.
    • decline To stoop, as to an unworthy object; lower one's self; condescend.
    • decline To refuse; express refusal: as, he was invited, but declined.
    • decline To approach or draw toward the close.
    • decline To incline; tend.
    • decline To incline morally; be favorably disposed.
    • n decline A bending or sloping downward; a slope; declivity; incline.
    • n decline A descending; progress downward or toward a close.
    • n decline A failing or deterioration; a sinking into an impaired or inferior condition; falling off; loss of strength, character, or value; decay.
    • n decline In medicine: That stage of a disease when the characteristic symptoms begin to abate in violence.
    • n decline A popular term for any chronic disease in which the strength and plumpness of the body gradually diminish, until the patient dies: as, he is in a decline.
    • n decline The time of life when the physical and mental powers are failing. Quain. Synonyms Degeneracy, falling off, drooping.
    • decline In chess, to refuse to take a piece or pawn offered.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The only time the human population declined was in the years following 1347, the start of the epidemic of the plague 'Black Death' in Europe.
    • v.i Decline de-klīn′ 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 Decline to bend down: to turn away from: to refuse: to avoid:
    • n Decline a falling off: deviation: decay: a gradual sinking of the bodily faculties, consumption
    • v.t Decline (gram.) to give the changes of a word in the oblique cases
    • ***


  • Germaine De Stael
    Germaine De Stael
    “When a noble life has prepared old age, it is not decline that it reveals, but the first days of immortality.”
  • Luis Bunuel
    “The decline of the aperitif may well be one of the most depressing phenomena of our time.”
  • John Keats
    “Land and sea, weakness and decline are great separators, but death is the great divorcer for ever.”
  • George Bancroft
    George Bancroft
    “Avarice is the vice of declining years.”
  • Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
    “The decline in literature indicates a decline in the nation. The two keep pace in their downward tendency.”
  • Ezra Pound
    “If a nation's literature declines, the nation atrophies and decays.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. declinen, to bend down, lower, sink, decline (a noun), F. décliner, 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.)


In literature:

The decline in the produce of coffee in the British West India possessions has been very great.
"The Commercial Products of the Vegetable Kingdom" by P. L. Simmonds
The prices of paintings by old masters would decline if millionaires preferred to collect another kind of scalps to decorate their wigwams.
"Outspoken Essays" by William Ralph Inge
A man of ordinary nerve would have declined this condition unhesitatingly.
"The Underground Railroad" by William Still
But now the power of the Tartars was rapidly on the decline.
"The Empire of Russia" by John S. C. Abbott
Disruption was naturally accompanied by weakness and decline.
"Ancient Egypt" by George Rawlinson
Quicumque declines only the first part; quisquis declines both but has only quisquis, quidquid, quoquo, in common use.
"New Latin Grammar" by Charles E. Bennett
Mary and Fanny would both have preferred to decline, but their mother had told them that they could not do so.
"The Claverings" by Anthony Trollope
This, however, when he cooled, he declined to do.
"The Memories of Fifty Years" by William H. Sparks
He swept his hand toward the wine, but the priests and the Iroquois respectfully declined.
"The Grey Cloak" by Harold MacGrath
As by magic the city rose in the rays of the declining sun.
"The Empire of Austria; Its Rise and Present Power" by John S. C. Abbott

In poetry:

Mournful and still it was at day's decline,
The day we entered there;
As in a loveless heart, at the lone shrine,
The fires extinguished were.
"The Quiet Rural Church" by Victor Marie Hugo
My heart did melt at its decline,
And ' Come,' said I, ' thou gem divine,
My fate shall stand the storm with thine;'
So took the root and all."
"Patty of the Vale" by John Clare
Something of her whose love imparts
Such radiance to her day's decline,
We feel its twilight in our hearts
Bright as the earliest morning-shine.
"In Memory Of Charles Wentworth Upham, Jr." by Oliver Wendell Holmes
Heaven visits man with days of sadness,
Embitters oft his nights with tears;
Blest is the Fakir who with gladness
Views Mecca in declining years.
"The Bakchesarian Fountain" by Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin
While Ellen's eager, hopeless gaze,
Bent on his track for many an hour ;
E'en till the Sun's declining rays,
Were fading fast from Ettrick Tow'r.
"Reginald The Brave" by Laura Sophia Temple
When o'er wide seas the sun declines,
Far off its fading glory shines,
Far off, sublime, and full of fear,--
The pine-woods bring the sunset near.
"The Woods That Bring The Sunset Near" by Richard Watson Gilder

In news:

In September, 1991, their 7-year-old daughter had died of pneumonia after a 5-year history of undiagnosed neurological decline.
Hiding the Decline of Academic and Scientific Transparency.
Rises and declines keep frame on even keel.
Broadway box office held rock-steady in Week 8 (July 16-22), with declines at some shows balanced by rises at others, in what was a healthy summertime frame overall.
Turns out that declining student enrollment, administration mismanagement or severe education spending cuts out of Sacramento aren't the causes of Santa Ana Unified's $29.8 million budget deficit after all.
It was announced Friday that the nation's unemployment rate declined a stunning 0.3 percentage points in September to 7.8 percent.
Charlene Kay Beamer , 62, of New Philadelphia, passed away Saturday, July 24, 2010, in Union Hospital at Dover following a period of declining health.
Investors typically consider a decline of 20% or more the mark of a bear market .
As Foreign Investment Shows Decline, Economists Keep Watch.
Four reasons Scotland might decline independence.
The Decline Bench Press exercise works your chest, shoulders, butt and hamstrings.
According to a number of reports from various news sources, Diller's health had been declining following a fall where she injured her hip and wrist.
According to Microsoft officials, sales of PCs may have fallen more drastically than analyst predictions and that the decline will continue in the coming quarters.
Greece's economy has been in decline since late 2008, with successive quarterly contractions since then, with the exception of the first quarter of 2010.
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the Euro Area declined a further 0.9 percent in December to 93.3 (2004 = 100), following a 1.7 percent fall in November and a 2.5 percent drop in October.

In science:

Surface density profiles that decline steeply with radius damp gravitational instability by loading the mass preferentially toward the inner disk, where dissipative shear stresses are strongest.
Ice Lines, Planetesimal Composition and Solid Surface Density in the Solar Nebula
As the disk evolves, the N2 ice line moves inward, but the overall N2 abundance declines due to the gas-phase reaction He+ + N2 → N+ + N + He.
Ice Lines, Planetesimal Composition and Solid Surface Density in the Solar Nebula
The overal l smooth decline towards longer wavelength is due to absorption by gas, the extra opacity near 220 nm is due to dust.
When teaching: Out with magnitudes, in with monochromatic luminosities!
The effects became noticeable when observing at low declinations and it was decided to block this frequency range all together with hardware filters.
A spectral synthesis method to suppress aliasing and calibrate for delay errors in Fourier transform correlators
We find from our models that the X-ray luminosity of a planetary nebula increases during its evolution across the HR diagram until stellar luminosity and wind power decline.
The evolution of planetary nebulae. V. The diffuse X-ray emission