decadent

adjective
dec·​a·​dent | \ ˈde-kə-dənt How to pronounce decadent (audio) also di-ˈkā-\

Definition of decadent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : characterized by or appealing to self-indulgence a rich and decadent dessert the hotel's decadent luxury
2 : marked by decay or decline an increasingly decadent society
3 literature : of, relating to, or having the characteristics of a group of late 19th century French and English writers tending toward artificial and unconventional subjects and subtilized style : of, relating to, or having the characteristics of the decadents (see decadent entry 2 sense 1)

decadent

noun

Definition of decadent (Entry 2 of 2)

1 literature : one of a group of late 19th century French and English writers tending toward artificial and unconventional subjects and subtilized style
2 : one that is marked by decay or decline : one that is decadent (see decadent entry 1 sense 2)

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Other Words from decadent

Adjective

decadently adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for decadent

Synonyms: Adjective

decayed, degenerate, effete, overripe, washed-up

Synonyms: Noun

backslider, debauchee, debaucher, degenerate, deviate, libertine, perv, pervert, profligate, rake, rakehell, rip

Antonyms: Adjective

undecadent

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Did You Know?

To be decadent is to be in the process of decay, so a powerful nation may be said to be in a decadent stage if its power is fading. But the word is more often used to speak of moral decay. Ever since the Roman empire, we've tended to link Rome's fall to the moral decay of its ruling class, who indulged in extreme luxuries and unwholesome pleasures while providing the public with cruel spectacles such as the slaughter of the gladiators. But not everyone agrees on what moral decadence looks like (or even how it might have hastened the fall of Rome), though most people think it involves too many sensual pleasures—as, for instance, among the French and English poets and artists of the 1880s and ʼ90s called the Decadents. These days, for some reason, people have decided decadent is the way to describe rich chocolate cakes.

Examples of decadent in a Sentence

Adjective

The book condemns some of society's wealthiest members as decadent fools. a wealthy and decadent lifestyle a decadent hotel room, complete with a hot tub We relaxed in decadent luxury.

Noun

avant-garde artists who were scorned by the bourgeoisie as talentless decadents a decadent who squandered her once considerable family fortune
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Everything is good here, but chocolate addicts will be especially pleased—the Death by Chocolate, Neapolitan, Nutella-style, and Caramel Mocha flavors are positively decadent. Todd Plummer, Vogue, "There’s a Fresh Crop of Vegan Restaurants in Dublin," 15 Mar. 2019 Today, the experience at the Mayfair hotel is consistently decadent. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "The 8 Best Places in London for Afternoon Tea," 3 Jan. 2019 So to have something that is just mine and was made for me specifically is special and elegant and a little decadent. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "Why a custom made Kentucky Derby hat is 'special and elegant and a little decadent'," 15 Mar. 2018 But what really caught our eye was Underwood’s two-story dressing room, complete with a vanity and full-length mirror on one floor and a decadent closet above—connected by a spiral staircase. Cator Sparks, House Beautiful, "Carrie Underwood Is Selling Her Tennessee Home," 11 Mar. 2019 Our clubby library has a luminous David Hicks wallpaper on the ceiling and features a fringed sofa in a decadent Proustian velvet. Simon Doonan, ELLE Decor, "Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan Give Their Greenwich Village Home a Glitz Makeover," 8 Mar. 2019 Chocolate chunks and coconut flakes make this moist bundt even more decadent. Chrissy Teigen, Good Housekeeping, "Great Breakfast Recipes," 14 Jan. 2019 Some dishes are deeply traditional, but some throw unexpected yet decadent flavors into the mix, like foie gras and truffle. Todd Plummer, Condé Nast Traveler, "18 Best Restaurants in Boston," 16 July 2018 In one amusing scene, Hasan and Homayun attend a decadent costume party in a somebody’s mansion, wearing red insect costumes from the commercial. Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Pig' ('Khook'): Film Review | Berlin 2018," 21 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

New York has some significance for Saint Laurent — Yves threw a grand party here in the ’70s for Opium — and the city’s decadents of that era, from Lou Reed to the Studio 54 crowd, inspired Mr. Vaccarello’s new collection. Matthew Schneier, New York Times, "If He Can Make It Here, He’ll Make It Anywhere," 7 June 2018 Wear a shiny solid one under your louchest suit (with or without a silk tie) or slip into a decadent, loose-fitting patterned one with, well, anything. The Editors Of Gq Style, GQ, "Why the Silk Shirt Should Be Your Go-To Summer Style Move," 5 June 2018 Special for this year is a new array of decadent dipped berries with chocolate chips and pink shimmer sugar. Jennifer Jolly, USA TODAY, "Give moms what they want more of this Mother's Day with these life hacks," 7 May 2018 Insider tip: The mac-nut cinnamon roll, dripping with icing ($5.25) is a decadent must for sweetaholics. Rosemary Mcclure, latimes.com, "In Kauai, where to eat for cheap: 20 places to chow down for $20," 15 Apr. 2018 So eat your feelings with La Tur, a decadent, almost molten cheese that takes care of you and makes any bad day go away. Alyse Whitney, Bon Appetit, "10 Valentine’s Day Pairings for Cheeses and Cheesy Rom-Coms," 12 Feb. 2018 Go for a Swim Jumping in a pool or a swimming hole during the rain simply feels decadent, like being in an outdoor spa. Sami Emory, Outside Online, "Embrace the Rain," 27 Mar. 2018 Food specialties: Georgacopoulos said besides being known for the complimentary doughnuts, Juicy-O takes pride in their pancakes (classic buttermilk or decadent like the maple bacon bourbon) and savory dishes. Jane Donahue, Naperville Sun, "Treat yourself to Juicy-O, including free doughnuts," 13 Mar. 2018 All four beers were worth the trip to Rocklin, especially the decadent yet drinkable imperial stouts, although Gallanosa is also considered a master of IPAs. Daniel Barnes, sacbee, "One of San Diego's best brewers has moved to Sacramento. Here's why | The Sacramento Bee," 2 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'decadent.' 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 decadent

Adjective

1837, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun

1886, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for decadent

Adjective and Noun

back-formation from decadence

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Statistics for decadent

Last Updated

14 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for decadent

The first known use of decadent was in 1837

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More Definitions for decadent

decadent

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of decadent

: having low morals and a great love of pleasure, money, fame, etc.
: attractive to people of low morals who are only interested in pleasure
: extremely pleasing

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Comments on decadent

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