deteriorate

play
verb de·te·ri·o·rate \di-ˈtir-ē-ə-ˌrāt, dē-\

Definition of deteriorate

deteriorated

;

deteriorating

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to make inferior in quality or value :  impair Exposure to sunlight may deteriorate the paint.

  3. 2 :  disintegrate

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to become impaired in quality, functioning, or condition :  degenerate allowed a tradition of academic excellence to deteriorate his health deteriorated

deteriorative

play \-ˌrā-tiv\ adjective

Examples of deteriorate in a Sentence

  1. efforts to save a deteriorating rain forest

  2. Exposure to rain and sun will gradually deteriorate the paint.

Recent Examples of deteriorate from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of deteriorate

Late Latin deterioratus, past participle of deteriorare, from Latin deterior worse, from de- + -ter (suffix as in Latin uter which of two) + -ior (comparative suffix) — more at whether, -er



DETERIORATE Defined for English Language Learners

deteriorate

play
verb

Definition of deteriorate for English Language Learners

  • : to become worse as time passes

  • : to make (something) worse


DETERIORATE Defined for Kids

deteriorate

play
verb de·te·ri·o·rate \di-ˈtir-ē-ə-ˌrāt\

Definition of deteriorate for Students

deteriorated

;

deteriorating

  1. :  to make or become worse or of less value Their relationship deteriorated.


Medical Dictionary

deteriorate

play
intransitive verb de·te·ri·o·rate \di-ˈtir-ē-ə-ˌrāt\

Medical Definition of deteriorate

deteriorated

;

deteriorating

  1. :  to become impaired in quality, functioning, or condition :  degenerate her health deteriorated deteriorating vision



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

sad or melancholy

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!