declination

noun
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 declinational (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 The space between true North and what compasses recognize as geomagnetic North is called the angle of declination. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "For the First Time in 360 Years, True and Magnetic North Will Align in the U.K.," 30 Aug. 2019 The report set forth the results of our work and the reasons for our charging and declination decisions. NBC News, "Full transcript: Mueller testimony before House Judiciary, Intelligence committees," 25 July 2019 The report set forth the results of our work and the reasons for our charging and declination decisions. NBC News, "Full transcript: Mueller testimony before House Judiciary, Intelligence committees," 25 July 2019 The report set forth the results of our work and the reasons for our charging and declination decisions. Katie Reilly, Time, "Read Robert Mueller's Opening Statement for His Testimony About the Russia Investigation," 24 July 2019 The report set forth the results of our work and the reasons for our charging and declination decisions. Washington Post, "Text of former special counsel Mueller’s opening statement," 24 July 2019 The report set forth the results of our work and the reasons for our charging and declination decisions. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "Robert Mueller testimony: Read the full text of ex-special counsel's opening statement to Congress," 24 July 2019 The report set forth the results of our work and the reasons for our charging and declination decisions. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Read Robert Mueller’s opening statement," 24 July 2019 The report set forth the results of our work and the reasons for our charging and declination decisions. chicagotribune.com, "Text of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s opening statement to the House," 24 July 2019

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

29 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Declination.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/declination. Accessed 26 January 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on declination

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for declination

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with declination

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about declination

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