decadence

noun dec·a·dence \ ˈde-kə-dən(t)s also di-ˈkā- \
Updated on: 9 Dec 2017

Definition of decadence

1 : the process of becoming decadent : the quality or state of being decadent
  • the decadence of modern society
  • escape the decadence that attends upon old age
  • —G. L. Dickinson
2 : a period of decline

Examples of decadence in a Sentence

  1. The book condemns the decadence of modern society.

  2. a symbol of the decadence of their once-mighty civilization

Recent Examples of decadence from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'decadence.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of decadence

Middle French, from Medieval Latin decadentia, from Late Latin decadent-, decadens, present participle of decadere to fall, sink — more at decay

Synonym Discussion of decadence

deterioration, degeneration, decadence, decline mean the falling from a higher to a lower level in quality, character, or vitality. deterioration implies generally the impairment of value or usefulness.
    • the deterioration of the house through neglect
degeneration stresses physical, intellectual, or especially moral retrogression.
    • the degeneration of their youthful idealism into cynicism
decadence presupposes a reaching and passing the peak of development and implies a turn downward with a consequent loss in vitality or energy.
    • cited love of luxury as a sign of cultural decadence
decline differs from decadence in suggesting a more markedly downward direction and greater momentum as well as more obvious evidence of deterioration.
    • the meteoric decline of his career after the scandal

DECADENCE Defined for English Language Learners

decadence

noun

Definition of decadence for English Language Learners

  • : behavior that shows low morals and a great love of pleasure, money, fame, etc.



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