Definition of declivity
1 : downward inclination
2 : a descending slope
declivity was our Word of the Day on 07/21/2010. Hear the podcast!
Examples of declivity in a sentence
the cabin is precariously perched on a declivity of the mountain's northern face
Did You Know?
Three different English words descend from "clivus," the Latin word for "slope" or "hill" - with the help of three Latin prefixes. Declivity combines "clivus" with the prefix de-, meaning "down" or "away." "Acclivity" uses "ad-" (which may change its second letter depending on the root word), meaning "to" or "toward." Hence, an acclivity is an upward slope. The third word has a figurative meaning in English: "proclivity" makes use of the prefix pro-, meaning "forward," and this word refers to a personal inclination, predisposition, or "leaning."
Origin and Etymology of declivity
Latin declivitat-, declivitas, from declivis sloping down, from de- + clivus slope, hill; akin to Latin clinare
First Known Use: 1612
Seen and Heard
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