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 Additionally, deterioration in the economic scenario will likely harm the insurance premiums as well, as people are more focused on near-term survivability in the time of crisis. Trefis Team, Forbes, 2 June 2021 There’s been a deterioration of values in our culture. John Canzano, oregonlive, 27 May 2021 Their meeting was already expected to be contentions amid a sharp deterioration in ties between Washington and Moscow. Matthew Lee, Star Tribune, 19 May 2021 Shootings were up 32%, and the seemingly out-of-control homeless population has left many residents complaining about a general deterioration in quality of life. Joseph Simonson, Washington Examiner, 26 Apr. 2021 Senior Pentagon and State Department officials sought to maintain a US troop presence in Afghanistan, fearing a rapid deterioration of security in the country and backsliding on democracy and human rights. Kevin Liptak, CNN, 15 Apr. 2021 What worries Pribble more is the deterioration of source tapes. Stephen Battaglio Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 9 Dec. 2020 Studies of writing quality in student papers have shown that there has been no deterioration over the decades, and no, today’s college students don’t substitute smiley-faces and texting abbreviations for words and phrases. Gareth Cook, Scientific American, 30 Sep. 2014 The bank has a portfolio of around $105 billion in total loans (as per March 2021 figures) and any sudden uptick in the Covid-19 cases or deterioration in the economic conditions can expose Goldman Sachs to sizable loan defaults. Trefis Team, Forbes, 18 May 2021

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

9 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Deterioration.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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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 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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