de·​te·​ri·​o·​ra·​tion | \ di-ˌtir-ē-ə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce deterioration (audio) , 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 At his event, Duda maintained that his advantage was ‘‘enormous’’ and said the choice was between ‘‘development’’ and a deterioration of the lives of normal Poles under the opposition. Loveday Morris,, "Polish presidential election heads to runoff, exit polls show," 28 June 2020 The coronavirus pandemic has contributed to a significant deterioration of food security in Syria, where more than 80% of the population lives in poverty. Washington Post, "UN food agency calls for aid to prevent another Syria exodus," 25 June 2020 The latest setback is just one of many recent struggles for Trudeau globally, including a deterioration of relations with China and Saudi Arabia and a disastrous state visit to India. Time, "Why Canada’s Failure to Win U.N. Security Council Seat Is a Huge Loss for Justin Trudeau," 18 June 2020 Gibratar’s humid climate leads to a rapid deterioration of DNA, and the possibilities of extracting useful genetic material seemed unlikely at the time. Manuel Jaén, National Geographic, "Face of a 7,500-year-old woman reveals Gibraltar's earliest humans," 4 June 2020 Jose McPherson watches the deterioration from his business, Good Guys Auto Sales. Paula Dobbyn, Anchorage Daily News, "Special report: Anchorage faces a homeless crisis — and the challenges may be increasing," 6 June 2020 As a journalist, Gessen is inevitably preoccupied with the corruption of public discourse and particularly the rapid deterioration of the media’s ability to hold American power to account. Hari Kunzru, The New York Review of Books, "Democracy’s Red Line," 4 June 2020 The Hampton Bay 3-piece sectional is made with all-weather wicker to avoid quick deterioration or damage from wind, rain and sun. NBC News, "What to shop 2020: Best deals in June, according to an expert," 3 June 2020 Lula lamented the economic deterioration, and said coronavirus has made things even worse. Vasco Cotovio, CNN, "Brazil's former president calls for Bolsonaro to be impeached," 2 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for deterioration

Time Traveler

The first known use of deterioration was circa 1658

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Statistics for deterioration

Last Updated

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deterioration.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for deterioration


How to pronounce deterioration (audio)

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 How to pronounce deterioration (audio) \

Medical Definition of deterioration

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

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