:to turn from a straight course :stray
:to bend down :droop
- … eyes … declining toward the ground …
- —Henry Fielding
:to stoop (see 1stoop 3b) to what is unworthy
- … the direful shameful state Adam declined into …
- —Edward Taylor
of a celestial body
:to sink toward setting
:to draw toward a close :wane
:to tend toward an inferior state or weaker condition
- Employee morale declined after the layoffs.
:to withhold consent
- We invited him but he declined.
:to become less in amount
- The price of the stock declined.
:to give in prescribed order the grammatical forms of (a noun, pronoun, or adjective)
- decline the Latin adjective "brevis"
- … evasions are sought to decline the pressure of resistless arguments …
- —Samuel Johnson
- … sinners … despairing to decline their fate …
- —Thomas Ken
:to cause to bend or bow downward
- … the clover … declines its blooms.
- —W. C. Bryant
:to refuse to undertake, undergo, engage in, or comply with
:to refuse especially courteously
- declined to give her name to the reporter