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 ?
Although he had already suffered many illnesses and had considered himself at age 54 to have reached his declining years, at age 65 he took up a vigorous schedule at Mount Vernon upon leaving the presidency.
This is where "fairness" comes in: It is only fair that everyone receive a certain guaranteed minimum payment for their declining years. And here's where the "universal coverage" plays a role: For the low-earner subsidy to continue, many middle-class earners, who, on average, get back less than they pay into the system, need to be forcibly kept in it.
Men (women being barred until 1928) passed the entry exam in their youth and then practiced a more lucrative profession for years; upon becoming candidates for official notarial positions in their declining years they claimed the "exam seniority" points allowed by law to win appointment over younger and probably more qualified applicants; some, however, offered instead to sell withdrawal of their candidacy to the highest bidder among the remaining aspirants.
There are now a number of other ways for us to be sexual, leave home, become adults, have and raise children, divide up the work of life, or spend our declining years. As a result, marriage plays a significantly smaller part in our lives than it did for folks coming of age 40 years ago.
The book closes with an account of the social and historical changes affecting Naples in Sannazaro's declining years.
Perhaps the greatest tragedy of them all is that, whereas every candidate on every season of The Apprentice could teach Alan Sugar a thing or two, were he to be offered an apprenticeship (despite his senior and declining years) working under his peers, I have never met anyone in public who believes that Alan Sugar could teach anything to anyone.
Dorothy retired at Assumption Residence, Petersham to receive the medical care needed in her declining years. It was in 2010 that she lost her sister, Dora Paradis, the well-known hair stylist and the last member of her immediate family.
Only a few years ago Radio 2 was seen as the airwaves' equivalent of an old people's home, a slightly stuffy, antiseptic institution which helped you gently while away your declining years. Now it's a personalitydriven station with added music thrown in, as funky as it is cheekily anti-establishment.