de·te·ri·o·ra·tion | \di-ˌtir-ē-ə-ˈrā-shən, dē-\

Definition of deterioration 

: the action or process of becoming impaired or inferior in quality, functioning, or condition : the state of having deteriorated rust deterioration the deterioration of academic standards

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Choose the Right Synonym for deterioration

deterioration, degeneration, decadence, decline mean the falling from a higher to a lower level in quality, character, or vitality. deterioration implies generally the impairment of value or usefulness. the deterioration of the house through neglect degeneration stresses physical, intellectual, or especially moral retrogression. the degeneration of their youthful idealism into cynicism decadence presupposes a reaching and passing the peak of development and implies a turn downward with a consequent loss in vitality or energy. cited love of luxury as a sign of cultural decadence decline differs from decadence in suggesting a more markedly downward direction and greater momentum as well as more obvious evidence of deterioration. the meteoric decline of his career after the scandal

Examples of deterioration in a Sentence

the gradual deterioration of the weather a deterioration of academic standards

Recent Examples on the Web

For the past 10 years, Dripps had struggled with spinal deterioration and had a dual diagnosis of diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis and ankylosing spondylitis. Janelle Walker, Elgin Courier-News, "Family of man who shot 3 officers in South Elgin standoff says he was distraught with health, financial woes," 10 July 2018 Most physicians — though not all — say the malady is psychogenic, which only intensifies the victims’ desperation and deterioration. Peter Keough,, "An unflinching look at ‘The Pain of Others’," 28 June 2018 In recent years, flippers have shifted from homes in financial distress to those suffering physical deterioration. Peter Rudegeair, WSJ, "Wall Street Is Getting In On the House Flipping Game," 13 May 2018 Regular deterioration of facilities district-wide costs about $120 million each year. Lauryn Schroeder,, "S.D. school district board sends $3.5 billion bond to November ballot," 10 July 2018 But while this still seems like the most likely scenario, the recent round of tit-for-tat tariff increases and the deterioration in Trump’s relationship with many of our traditional allies mean other scenarios now need to be considered. Mark Zandi,, "In today's global economy, nobody wins a trade war | Opinion," 22 June 2018 Abramovich's visa delay comes amid a deterioration in relations between London and Moscow over the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Matthew Chance And Nada Bashir, CNN, "Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich left waiting for UK visa," 21 May 2018 However, as with the barristers, the proposal comes on top of what lecturers see as a steady deterioration in their working conditions. The Economist, "British professionals revolt as austerity hits the middle class," 26 Apr. 2018 The bridge repairs are needed to prevent further deterioration to the bridge, according to the Kansas Department of Transportation. Robert A. Cronkleton, kansascity, "18th Street Expressway to close until November to repair bridge over Kansas River | The Kansas City Star," 19 Apr. 2018

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

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First Known Use of deterioration

circa 1658, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for deterioration

see deteriorate

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Statistics for deterioration

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deterioration

The first known use of deterioration was circa 1658

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More Definitions for deterioration



English Language Learners Definition of deterioration

: the act or process of becoming worse


de·te·ri·o·ra·tion | \di-ˌtir-ē-ə-ˈrā-shən \

Medical Definition of deterioration 

: the action or process of deteriorating : the state of having deteriorated personality deterioration neurological deterioration

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a generally accepted meaning of a word

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