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 ?
But human patience has its limits; and mind, my dear, I respectfully decline to receive Mrs.
This is all true--but I have not heard of any student who DID decline; to decline and still remain in the corps would make him unpleasantly conspicuous, and properly so, since he knew, when he joined, that his main business, as a member, would be to fight.
And if the first disaster to the Roman Empire[*] should be examined, it will be found to have commenced only with the enlisting of the Goths; because from that time the vigour of the Roman Empire began to decline, and all that valour which had raised it passed away to others.
We may well quote on this day the words written of Nelson, in the decline of a well-spent life, by Sir T.
I looked upon him as the sort of person to be made a fuss with, and to make a fuss himself in any trifling disorder, and was chiefly concerned for those who had to nurse him; but now it is confidently asserted that he is really in a decline, that the symptoms are most alarming, and that part of the family, at least, are aware of it.
Navigation was always a difficult art, Though with only one ship and one bell: And he feared he must really decline, for his part, Undertaking another as well.
Anne was still in the lane; and though instinctively beginning to decline, she was not allowed to proceed.
All wise men, to decline the envy of their own virtues, use to ascribe them to Providence and Fortune; for so they may the better assume them: and, besides, it is greatness in a man, to be the care of the higher powers.
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.
In this latter end of autumn, with a sparse remnant of yellow leaves falling slowly athwart the dark evergreens in a stillness without sunshine, the house too had an air of autumnal decline, and Mr.
If she applies to you next, receive her as I did--or decline to see her, which would be better still.