decline

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Related to declining years: perseverance

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 periodicals archive ?
Perhaps you take some form of pleasure from it but you are turning her declining years into a misery.
The level of investment in downstream equipment has caused some in the industry to speculate that off-site heavy media separation is in its declining years as an ongoing practice, as sorting equipment that can quickly yield a return on investment is purchased by an increasing number of shredding plant operators.
We saved to have a modest degree of financial comfort in our declining years - we did not do so to create a financial stick to be beaten with.
Coverage spans Mallory's youth in Key West, his decades of public service, and his declining years.
The point that the Roman Empire in its declining years was as decadent as present-day Las Vegas was abundantly advanced by Chicago Opera Theater in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea, as the company entered the brand-new Harris Theater for Music and Dance.
The Hospital, created by King Charles II in 1682, is actually the Army's old soldiers' home, whose inhabitants live out their declining years in attentive, if somewhat archaic, comfort.
Michael Nicholson eloquently described his fate: "As for Solzhenitsyn, he finds himself sounding a tocsin that has pealed through centuries of Russian history, and grappling in his declining years with the fear that perhaps he rings in vain.
Gouverneur Morris supported his friends financially through his declining years.
The stock market crashed in October, robbing them of valuable investment income they thought would support them in their declining years, and the cost of living in San Francisco skyrocketed.