dec·​li·​na·​tion | \ˌde-klə-ˈnā-shən \

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

5 : a formal refusal

6 : the angle formed between a magnetic needle and the geographical meridian

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Other Words from declination

declinational \ -​shnəl , -​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

Read lawsuit here Read Columbia County grand jury report and declination to prosecute deputies here. Maxine Bernstein,, "Former inmate bitten by police dog files $500,000 lawsuit against Columbia County," 14 May 2018 By measuring the altitude of the sun at noon, navigators could then measure the sun's declination, which accurately told sailors their latitude. David Mearns, National Geographic, "Rare Solar Navigation Tool Found in Ancient Shipwreck," 24 Oct. 2017

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.

First Known Use of declination

14th 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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The first known use of declination was in the 14th century

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playful or foolish behavior

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