deteriorate

verb de·te·ri·o·rate \ di-ˈtir-ē-ə-ˌrāt , dē- \
Updated on: 12 Dec 2017

Definition of deteriorate

deteriorated; deteriorating
transitive verb
1 : to make inferior in quality or value : impair
  • Exposure to sunlight may deteriorate the paint.
intransitive verb
: to become impaired in quality, functioning, or condition : degenerate
  • allowed a tradition of academic excellence to deteriorate
  • his health deteriorated

deteriorative

play \-ˌrā-tiv\ adjective

Examples of deteriorate in a Sentence

  1. efforts to save a deteriorating rain forest

  2. Exposure to rain and sun will gradually deteriorate the paint.

Recent Examples of deteriorate from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deteriorate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of deteriorate

Late Latin deterioratus, past participle of deteriorare, from Latin deterior worse, from de- + -ter (suffix as in Latin uter which of two) + -ior (comparative suffix) — more at 2whether, -er



DETERIORATE Defined for English Language Learners

deteriorate

verb

Definition of deteriorate for English Language Learners

  • : to become worse as time passes

  • : to make (something) worse


DETERIORATE Defined for Kids

deteriorate

verb de·te·ri·o·rate \ di-ˈtir-ē-ə-ˌrāt \

Definition of deteriorate for Students

deteriorated; deteriorating
: to make or become worse or of less value
  • Their relationship deteriorated.

Medical Dictionary

deteriorate

intransitive verb de·te·ri·o·rate \ di-ˈtir-ē-ə-ˌrāt \

medical Definition of deteriorate

deteriorated; deteriorating
: to become impaired in quality, functioning, or condition : degenerate
  • her health deteriorated
  • deteriorating vision


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