declined


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de·cline

 (dĭ-klīn′)
v. de·clined, de·clin·ing, 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. See Synonyms at refuse1.
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.

[Middle English declinen, from Old French decliner, from Latin dēclīnāre, to turn away, bend downward, change the form of a word : dē-, de- + -clīnāre, to lean, bend; see klei- in Indo-European roots.]

de·clin′a·ble adj.
de·clin′er n.
References in classic literature ?
The Hare then applied, as a last hope, to the calf, who regretted that he was unable to help her, as he did not like to take the responsibility upon himself, as so many older persons than himself had declined the task.
Also, Anna declared that it was solely through my own fault that my fortunes declined after she had bettered them; that she is in no way responsible for what then happened; and that I have but myself to blame for having been either unable or unwilling to defend my honour.
But now, without an instant's consideration, he declined it, and observing dissatisfaction in the most exalted quarters at this step, he immediately retired from the army.
A month later Alexey Alexandrovitch was left alone with his son in his house at Petersburg, while Anna and Vronsky had gone abroad, not having obtained a divorce, but having absolutely declined all idea of one.
The gentleman offered his services; and perceiving that her modesty declined what her situation rendered necessary, took her up in his arms without farther delay, and carried her down the hill.
On my side, I declined to be treated in this way, without making an attempt, at least, to discover a reason for it.
After encouraging the idea of the play, they declined the personal sacrifice of acting in it -- or, they accepted characters, and then broke down in the effort to study them -- or they volunteered to take the parts which they knew were already engaged, and declined the parts which were waiting to be acted -- or they were afflicted with weak constitutions, and mischievously fell ill when they were wanted at rehearsal -- or they had Puritan relatives in the background, and, after slipping into their parts cheerfully at the week's beginning, oozed out of them penitently, under serious family pressure, at the week's end.
The invitation was general, and generally declined.
Lord Rotherfield declined to see his youngest son; and he had engagements which would, under any circumstances, prevent his being present at the garden party.
The ministry proffered various civil offices which yielded not only honor but profit; but he declined them all, with the chivalrous independence and loyalty that had marked his character through life.
Edna Pontellier could not have told why, wishing to go to the beach with Robert, she should in the first place have declined, and in the second place have followed in obedience to one of the two contradictory impulses which impelled her.
She obstinately declined to learn the deaf and dumb alphabet--on the ground that dumbness was not associated with deafness in her case.