1

decadent

play
adjective dec·a·dent \ˈde-kə-dənt also di-ˈkā-\

Definition of decadent

  1. 1 :  marked by decay or decline an increasingly decadent society

  2. 2 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 2decadent 1)

  3. 3 :  characterized by or appealing to self-indulgence a rich and decadent dessert the hotel's decadent luxury

decadently

adverb

Examples of decadent in a Sentence

  1. The book condemns some of society's wealthiest members as decadent fools.

  2. a wealthy and decadent lifestyle

  3. a decadent hotel room, complete with a hot tub

  4. We relaxed in decadent luxury.

Recent Examples of decadent from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of decadent

back-formation from decadence


2

decadent

noun dec·a·dent

Definition of decadent

  1. 1 literature :  one of a group of late 19th century French and English writers tending toward artificial and unconventional subjects and subtilized style

  2. 2 :  one that is marked by decay or decline :  one that is decadent (see 1decadent 1)

Examples of decadent in a Sentence

  1. avant-garde artists who were scorned by the bourgeoisie as talentless decadents

  2. a decadent who squandered her once considerable family fortune

Recent Examples of decadent from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of decadent

see 1decadent


DECADENT Defined for English Language Learners

decadent

play
adjective

Definition of decadent for English Language Learners

  • : 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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