declivity

noun
de·​cliv·​i·​ty | \ di-ˈkli-və-tē How to pronounce declivity (audio) \
plural declivities

Definition of declivity

1 : downward inclination
2 : a descending slope

Keep scrolling for more

What is the Difference Between declivity and acclivity?

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."

Examples of declivity in a Sentence

the cabin is precariously perched on a declivity of the mountain's northern face

First Known Use of declivity

1612, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for declivity

Latin declivitat-, declivitas, from declivis sloping down, from de- + clivus slope, hill; akin to Latin clinare

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about declivity

Time Traveler for declivity

Time Traveler

The first known use of declivity was in 1612

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about declivity

Statistics for declivity

Cite this Entry

“Declivity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/declivity. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on declivity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for declivity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with declivity

Britannica English: Translation of declivity for Arabic Speakers

Comments on declivity

What made you want to look up declivity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!