decline


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decline

(dĭ-klīn′)
v. de·clined, de·clining, de·clines
v.intr.
1. To express polite refusal: I wanted to invite them but I was afraid they would decline.
2.
a. To slope downward; descend: The roof declines at a steep angle.
b. To bend downward; droop: boughs declining toward the ground.
3. To degrade or lower oneself; stoop: refused to decline to their level of behavior.
4. To deteriorate gradually; fail: His health has been declining for years.
5.
a. To sink, as the setting sun.
b. To draw to a gradual close: We made our way home as the day declined.
v.tr.
1. To refuse politely: I declined their offer of help.
2. To cause to slope or bend downward.
3. Grammar To inflect (a noun, a pronoun, or an adjective) for number and case.
n.
1. The process or result of declining, especially:
a. A gradual deterioration, as in numbers, activity, or quality: "overwhelming evidence that fish stocks ... are in decline" (Jonathan Bocknek).
b. A downward movement or fall, as in price.
c. A deterioration of health: the patient's rapid decline.
2. A downward slope; a declivity: the sharp decline of the dunes to the sea.

de·clin′a·ble adj.
de·clin′er n.

decline

(dē-klīn′)
1. Progressive decrease.
2. The declining period of a disease.

functional decline

The loss of independent function that often accompanies an acute illness or the cumulative effects of a chronic illness, a restriction in activities, or a change in diet, esp. in older persons.
References in classic literature ?
He might well have added that the Roman power was at its zenith when every citizen acknowledged his liability to fight for the State, but that it began to decline as soon as this obligation was no longer recognized.
knows a decline is apprehended; he saw her this morning: she returns to Wimpole Street to-day; the old lady is come.
There ought also to be temples erected at proper places, both to the gods and the heroes; but it is unnecessary to dwell longer and most minutely on these particulars--for it is by no means difficult to plan these things, it is rather so to carry them into execution; for the theory is the child of our wishes, but the practical part must depend upon fortune; for which reason we shall decline saying anything farther upon these subjects.
I dare say it would have been more seemly to decline this proposal.
Then I am to conclude that you decline to do anything?
If she applies to you next, receive her as I did--or decline to see her, which would be better still.
Now you know my opinion of Lady Lydiard, you will not be surprised to hear that I decline to trust her Ladyship.
Then I decline to interfere," said the Governor, with asperity; "a man who abuses his office by making it serve a private end and purvey a personal advantage is unfit to be free.
The early Greek epic -- that is, poetry as a natural and popular, and not (as it became later) an artificial and academic literary form -- passed through the usual three phases, of development, of maturity, and of decline.
Blanche might decline to submit to her step-mother's interference with her.
Indeed, this may be thought too detrimental a scheme to the French interest, since they would thus lose the advantage they have over other nations in the superiority of their engineers; but when I consider the gallantry and generosity of that people, I am persuaded they would never decline putting themselves upon a par with their adversary; or, as the phrase is, making themselves his match.
To decline the flattering and dangerous appointment at Tashkend would have been, Vronsky had till then considered, disgraceful and impossible.