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v. de·clined, de·clin·ing, de·clines
1. To express polite refusal: I wanted to invite them but I was afraid they would decline.
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.
a. To sink, as the setting sun.
b. To draw to a gradual close: We made our way home as the day declined.
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.
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.


1. deteriorating gradually, as in quality, health, or character
2. of the time of a person's life during which he or she grows old and increasingly frail


[dɪˈklaɪnɪŋ] ADJ [industry] → en decadencia
declining interestpérdida f de interés
in my declining yearsen mis últimos años
References in classic literature ?
Without absolutely declining to pay the money, the two offices
Dashwood's spirit overcame the wish of society for her children; and she was resolute in declining to visit any family beyond the distance of a walk.
The sweet scenes of autumn were for a while put by, unless some tender sonnet, fraught with the apt analogy of the declining year, with declining happiness, and the images of youth and hope, and spring, all gone together, blessed her memory.
While the apology made for Miss Pink stated no more than the plain truth, it must be confessed that Hardyman was right in declining to be satisfied with Isabel's excuse for the melancholy that oppressed her.
Major Effingham, in declining the liberal offers of the British ministry, had subjected himself to the suspicion of having attained his dotage, by all those who throng the avenues to court patronage, even in the remotest corners of that vast empire; but, when he thus voluntarily stripped himself of his great personal wealth, the remainder of the community seemed instinctively to adopt the conclusion also that he had reached a second childhood.
A wit among the gentlemen declared it reminded him of declining a verb.
According to recent figures from the Aluminum Association, based in Washington, the aluminum extrusions market has been the hardest hit, with some orders declining by as much as 30 percent.
The birth dearth is certainly real enough; declining birth rates (also known as fertility rates) are evident in many parts of the world.
Because these rates have been declining nationally and in Texas since the early 1990s, the researchers used rate changes among 18-year-olds as proxies for the changes that would have been expected without the law.
Lynn Parish of the Rape, Abuse & Incest Network, a national anti-sexual assault group, said Justice Department studies show that the incidence of rape, whether reported to police or not, has been declining over 30 years while reporting of rape to police has climbed for a decade.
Median total operating expenses and assessment for all condominium property types as a group remained relatively stable in 2004, declining just 1.
Forward business sentiment improved in Malaysia and the Philippines, while declining in Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand; indices for Singapore and Malaysia remained in negative territory, while the index for Thailand fell into negative territory for the first time since March 2002.