dec·​a·​dence | \ ˈde-kə-dən(t)s How to pronounce decadence (audio) also di-ˈkā- \

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

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of decadence in a Sentence

The book condemns the decadence of modern society. a symbol of the decadence of their once-mighty civilization
Recent Examples on the Web Needless to say, the party at home is going to look a little different than the decadence and depravity of the infield. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "From protests to races, here's what's happening in Louisville for the 2020 Kentucky Derby," 4 Sep. 2020 Ambition and purpose are better than sustainable decadence. Ross Douthat, National Review, "An American Pickle: Seth Rogen’s Traditionalist Comedy," 20 Aug. 2020 Also, for example, in Nigeria, monochromatic dressing from head-to-toe represents opulence and decadence in many ways. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Beyonce's 'Black Is King' Costume Designer Unpacks Cultural References, Favorite Style Moments," 5 Aug. 2020 Scroll through and get a dose of Southern decadence from Ashley and Richard’s Charleston wedding. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Bridal Bliss: Ashley And Richard Southern Style Wedding Brought The Romance," 1 July 2020 Kaczynski’s party has also been at the vanguard of casting the LGBT rights movement as symbolic of decadence, rhetoric that has been blamed for fueling violence by far-right groups in recent years at Pride marches. Marc Santora,, "Poland’s virus-delayed presidential election suddenly looks tight," 27 June 2020 The underdog status accorded to the genre, the film suggests, permitted unchecked decadence and unchecked power. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "Pleasure and Pain on HBO Max," 28 May 2020 Malone brings a fizzy shot of fashionable decadence and naked ambition to her every scene. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Stardust': Film Review | Tribeca 2020," 16 Apr. 2020 Douthat’s chapters on stagnating innovation and institutional sclerosis as elements of our decadence are more conventional, though informative and well balanced. Mark Lilla, New York Times, "Ross Douthat Has a Vision of America. It’s Grim.," 25 Feb. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of decadence

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for decadence

Middle French, from Medieval Latin decadentia, from Late Latin decadent-, decadens, present participle of decadere to fall, sink — more at decay entry 1

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Time Traveler for decadence

Time Traveler

The first known use of decadence was in 1530

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Statistics for decadence

Last Updated

8 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Decadence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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How to pronounce decadence (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of decadence

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

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