deteriorate

verb
de·​te·​ri·​o·​rate | \ di-ˈtir-ē-ə-ˌrāt How to pronounce deteriorate (audio) , dē-\
deteriorated; deteriorating

Definition of deteriorate

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from deteriorate

deteriorative \ di-​ˈtir-​ē-​ə-​ˌrā-​tiv How to pronounce deteriorative (audio) , dē-​ \ adjective

Examples of deteriorate in a Sentence

efforts to save a deteriorating rain forest Exposure to rain and sun will gradually deteriorate the paint.
Recent Examples on the Web McKnight said despite the fact that his son was healthy and athletic, vaping deteriorated his health. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "College athlete hospitalized for 5 months, could lose lung after vaping, dad says," 29 Aug. 2019 His absence from the public resulted in speculation online that further theorized the leader’s deteriorating health, believing him to have died of liver failure, The Telegraph reported. Fox News, "Turkmenistan leader purportedly drives doughnuts around ‘Gateway to Hell’ amid death rumors," 8 Aug. 2019 The first two episodes are solid, giving us Jessica's and Trish's perspectives in turn on their deteriorating relationship. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Review: Jessica Jones S3 is flawed but packs a powerful payoff in the end," 24 June 2019 Morsi’s relatives and human rights advocates had long raised serious concerns about his deteriorating health and harsh conditions behind bars. Laura King, latimes.com, "Ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's death stirs memories of onetime democracy hopes," 17 June 2019 Homecare providers assist clients with everyday tasks that can become difficult due to old age and deteriorating health. Bob Bong, Daily Southtown, "Comings & Goings: U.S. Bank closing local branches," 10 June 2019 But from there, Lily’s health quickly deteriorated. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "Texas Girl, 10, Dies After Contracting Rare Brain-Eating Amoeba from Swimming in River," 16 Sep. 2019 But deteriorating economic data pushed the bank to start planning more help for the economy. Washington Post, "European Central Bank deploys new stimulus to help economy," 13 Sep. 2019 Before, the exterior was dated and deteriorated, swathed in stucco. Molly Guthrey, Twin Cities, "We toured HGTV’s 2019 Urban Oasis home in Minneapolis, which someone will win," 11 Sep. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of deteriorate

1572, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for 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 whether entry 2, -er

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about deteriorate

Statistics for deteriorate

Last Updated

24 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for deteriorate

The first known use of deteriorate was in 1572

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for deteriorate

deteriorate

verb
How to pronounce deteriorate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of deteriorate

: to become worse as time passes
: to make (something) worse

deteriorate

verb
de·​te·​ri·​o·​rate | \ di-ˈtir-ē-ə-ˌrāt How to pronounce deteriorate (audio) \
deteriorated; deteriorating

Kids Definition of deteriorate

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

deteriorate

intransitive verb
de·​te·​ri·​o·​rate | \ di-ˈtir-ē-ə-ˌrāt How to pronounce deteriorate (audio) \
deteriorated; deteriorating

Medical Definition of deteriorate

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on deteriorate

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

WORD OF THE DAY

the exactly right word or phrasing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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!