dec·​li·​na·​tion | \ ˌde-klə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce declination (audio) \
plural declinations

Definition of declination

1 : angular distance north or south from the celestial equator measured along a great circle passing through the celestial poles
2 : a turning aside or swerving
3 : deterioration moral declination
4 : a bending downward : inclination
5a : a formal refusal
b law : a decision by a prosecutor not to pursue an indictment
6 : the angle formed between a magnetic needle and the geographical meridian

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Other Words from declination

declinational \ ˌde-​klə-​ˈnā-​shnəl How to pronounce declination (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of declination in a Sentence

there's been a declination in basic civility in our society congressional declinations of cabinet appointments have been relatively infrequent, most senators believing that the president is entitled to pick his own advisors
Recent Examples on the Web Last fall, department officials discussed whether the investigation had run its course and prosecutors should draft a declination memo that would explain why Comey would not be prosecuted, one of the people said., 5 June 2021 Last fall, department officials discussed whether the investigation had run its course and prosecutors should draft a declination memo that would explain why Mr. Comey would not be prosecuted, one of the people said. New York Times, 4 June 2021 Porter said the city's goal is to get all vaccination records and declination forms in by June 11, when all of its facilities are fully opened. Emma Austin, The Courier-Journal, 20 May 2021 As of late April, the Marine Corps had a declination rate of 36%, but the rate was far worse -- 67% -- at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Oren Liebermann, CNN, 13 May 2021 While transoceanic sailors could determine latitude from the altitude of the sun at noon with the aid of a table giving the sun's declination for the day. Tim Bajarin, Forbes, 28 Apr. 2021 But the declination rate for Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, one of the prominent Marine bases, soared in the same time frame, from 57% two weeks ago to 67% now. Oren Liebermann, CNN, 23 Apr. 2021 Marines reportedly decline shot: Nearly 40% of US Marines are declining Covid-19 vaccinations, according to data provided to CNN on Friday by the service, the first branch to disclose service-wide numbers on acceptance and declination. Chronicle Staff, San Francisco Chronicle, 15 Apr. 2021 About 48,000 Marines have chosen not to receive vaccines, for a declination rate of 38.9%. Fernando Alfonso Iii, CNN, 11 Apr. 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for declination

Middle English declinacioun, from Middle French declination, from Latin declination-, declinatio angle of the heavens, turning aside

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Time Traveler for declination

Time Traveler

The first known use of declination was in the 15th century

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Statistics for declination

Last Updated

16 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Declination.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for declination Encyclopedia article about declination


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