decadent

adjective
dec·​a·​dent | \ˈde-kə-dənt 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

If Paris Fashion Week is a decadent feast of fashion, then the Chanel runway show is the dessert, complete with a cherry on top. Karina Hoshikawa, Teen Vogue, "Chanel Fall 2018 Hair Look Features Messy Updo," 6 Mar. 2018 Delectable Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes No one will know these moist, decadent cupcakes are actually vegan. Fox News, "Decadent chocolate cakes," 27 Jan. 2016 The decadent Oscar de la Renta design features some seriously gorgeous embellishments which were made by Sarah Esmoingt, per @HeavenQRF on Twitter. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Has a Fairytale Moment in Oscar de la Renta as She Returns to Sydney with Prince Harry," 26 Oct. 2018 Sides include decadent mac n' cheese with crumbled bacon on top and slow-cooked collard greens. Condé Nast Traveler, "3 Best Day Trips from Houston," 12 Oct. 2018 The living room and bedrooms boast floor-to-ceiling windows, a decadent chandelier, and original woodworking throughout. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Groovy ’70s time capsule with views galore asks $1M," 1 Oct. 2018 For dessert, there was a decadent gluten-free and vegan cake created by Marcella Pezet that Hilary had discovered on a recent trip to Mexico City. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, "Hilary Swank Wears Elie Saab Couture and Christian Dior at Her Wedding in the Redwoods," 21 Aug. 2018 Scare your party guests into a chocolate coma with these decadent cupcakes. Alexis Jones, Redbook, "The Best Halloween Food Ideas for Your Adult Gathering," 2 Aug. 2018 Darkest Chocolate Cake with Red Wine Glaze The plummy-berry notes of red wine are highlighted when mixed with chocolate and butter into a glaze that drips over the edges of this decadent dark chocolate cake. Fox News, "11 creative Christmas desserts," 22 Dec. 2016

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

back-formation from decadence

Noun

see decadent entry 1

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Statistics for decadent

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

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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