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

That there was no communication between Mr Johnson and Mr Varadkar for a week after the former assumed power was itself a symptom of the deterioration in relations. The Economist, "No-deal could lead to the resumption of direct rule in Northern Ireland," 1 Aug. 2019 DeepMind Health already sells a system called Streams that pushes mobile phone notifications to doctors and nurses if a patient is showing signs of deterioration. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "DeepMind’s Latest A.I. Predicts Kidney Injuries 48 Hours in Advance," 31 July 2019 The rate of memory deterioration was fastest among women who never earned a wage. Hannah Natanson,, "Women who work for a salary see slower memory decline in old age, reducing their risk of dementia, a new study suggests," 16 July 2019 Researchers noted a high degree of deterioration in a wall close to the exterior condenser unit, which feeds two AC inlets in the church — in the central chamber, known as the nave, and near the organ on the second floor. Scott Huddleston,, "UTSA study will help cool, preserve one of San Antonio’s historic mission churches," 4 July 2019 And Bevin has since argued the home is worth less, about $1.39 million, citing age and deterioration in some quarters. Deborah Yetter, The Courier-Journal, "Officials will get second tour of Bevin's Anchorage mansion to resolve tax dispute," 22 July 2019 The influx of migrants will then lead the administration to declare the need for even more cruel and heavy-handed policies—which will, in turn, likely lead to a further deterioration of the situation at the border. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Trump’s Kick-Off Rally Showcases What the President Does Best," 19 June 2019 After doing a detailed analysis of about 100 of Bon-Ton's worst-performing stores, 42 were selected to be closed, and another 20 were put on a watch list to monitor for further deterioration. Paul Gores, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Clearance: Going-out-of-business sales at 42 Bon-Ton stores," 21 Feb. 2018 The plan will vastly increase the cost of city housing and lead to the deterioration of thousands of units. James Sutton, National Review, "New York’s Insane Rent-Reform Package Will Make the Housing Market Worse for Everyone," 14 June 2019

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

16 Aug 2019

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 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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Comments on deterioration

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


a period when something is suspended

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