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

These include pneumonia, hearing loss, tracheal infections, and a very rare brain disease called subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, which causes intellectual deterioration seven to 10 years after measles exposure. Amanda Macmillan,, "So There's a Measles Outbreak Near You. How Worried Should You Be?," 5 Sep. 2019 But the recent deterioration was not inevitable, even after the riot. The Economist, "How to fix Baltimore," 1 Aug. 2019 But still, even in a world in which beloved stars become expendable overnight, the deterioration in the relationship between Bale and Madrid has been extraordinary. Jonathan Wilson,, "How Gareth Bale and Real Madrid's Transfer Saga Deteriorated to This Point," 29 July 2019 Some physical deterioration of its structures is only part of the problem. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit needs to put stretch of Jefferson underground for more walkable downtown," 27 July 2019 With news reports showing us the lasting effects of global warming, the deterioration of politics, war, violence and hatred, life in 2019 is hard. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "K.Flay Wishes She Could Escape Our Current Reality in 'Not In California': Listen," 28 June 2019 In a slack labor market, workers typically experience a reduction in their market power, but the last recession, with its length and depth, represented a significant deterioration of workers’ ability to benefit from the subsequent recovery. Julie Heath,, "Region's Economy: The inequality conundrum," 27 Aug. 2019 The difference is because people are looking for signs of potential deterioration, gaffes that would be written off as Joe being Joe can become much more damaging to him. Bill Barrow, The Denver Post, "Biden is still the Democrat to beat, but rivals see weakness," 10 Aug. 2019 On Wednesday, DeepMind and its collaborators separately published results showing that using Streams, doctors missed only 3 percent of cases of kidney deterioration, compared with 12 percent missed without the app. Tom Simonite, WIRED, "Alphabet’s AI Might Be Able to Predict Kidney Disease," 31 July 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

13 Sep 2019

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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).


concealment of treason or felony

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