• IPA: /dɪˈklaɪn/


  1. Downward movement, fall.
  2. A sloping downward, e.g. of a hill or road.
  3. A weakening.
  4. A reduction or diminution of activity.
    • 1992, Rudolf M[athias] Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, →ISBN, page ix:
      It is also pertinent to note that the current obvious decline in work on holarctic hepatics most surely reflects a current obsession with cataloging and with nomenclature of the organisms—as divorced from their study as living entities.
  5. The act of declining or refusing something.
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  • Russian: упадок

decline (declines, present participle declining; past and past participle declined)

  1. (intransitive) To move downwards, to fall, to drop.
    The dollar has declined rapidly since 2001.
  2. (intransitive) To become weaker or worse.
    My health declined in winter.
  3. (transitive) 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.
  4. (transitive) To cause to decrease or diminish.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Francis Beaumont; John Fletcher, “The Honest Man's Fortune”, in Comedies and Tragedies […], London: Printed for Humphrey Robinson, […], and for Humphrey Moseley […], published 1647, OCLC 3083972 ↗, Act 2, scene 2:
      You have declin'd his means.
    • He knoweth his error, but will not seek to decline it.
  5. To turn or bend aside; to deviate; to stray; to withdraw.
    a line that declines from straightness
    conduct that declines from sound morals
    • Bible, Psalms cxix. 157
      Yet do I not decline from thy testimonies.
  6. (transitive) To refuse, forbear.
    • Could I decline this dreadful hour?
    On reflection I think I will decline your generous offer.
  7. (transitive, grammar, usually of substantives, adjectives and pronouns) To inflect for case, number and sometimes gender.
    • after the first declining of a noun and a verb
  8. (by extension) To run through from first to last; to repeat like a schoolboy declining a noun.
  9. (American football, Canadian football) To reject a penalty against the opposing team, usually because the result of accepting it would benefit the non-penalized team less than the preceding play.
    The team chose to decline the fifteen-yard penalty because their receiver had caught the ball for a thirty-yard gain.
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