Thesaurus

decline

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of decline

(Entry 1 of 2)

2 to be unwilling to grant
  • declined our request to hold a party

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3 to go to a lower level especially abruptly
  • new-car sales declined to their lowest level in years

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4 to become worse or of less value
  • his reputation as a writer began to decline not long after his death

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6 to lead or extend downward
  • the bike path declines toward the riverbank and then follows the river for several miles

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decline

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of decline (Entry 2 of 2)

1 a gradual sinking and wasting away of mind or body
  • her sad decline from a robust athlete to an old woman with arthritis

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3 a downward slope
  • the bicyclist lost control on the unexpectedly steep decline

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4 a loss of status
  • the engagement at the small club was an unmistakable sign of the rock band's decline

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5 the amount by which something is lessened
  • a huge decline in the value of the artwork after its authenticity was questioned

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About decline

How is the word decline different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of decline are refuse, reject, repudiate, and spurn. While all these words mean "to turn away by not accepting, receiving, or considering," decline often implies courteous refusal especially of offers or invitations.

declined his party's nomination

When might refuse be a better fit than decline?

While in some cases nearly identical to decline, refuse suggests more positiveness or ungraciousness and often implies the denial of something asked for.

refused to lend them the money

When would reject be a good substitute for decline?

The words reject and decline can be used in similar contexts, but reject implies a peremptory refusal by sending away or discarding.

rejected the manuscript as unpublishable

When is it sensible to use repudiate instead of decline?

The synonyms repudiate and decline are sometimes interchangeable, but repudiate implies a casting off or disowning as untrue, unauthorized, or unworthy of acceptance.

teenagers who repudiate the values of their parents

Where would spurn be a reasonable alternative to decline?

While the synonyms spurn and decline are close in meaning, spurn stresses contempt or disdain in rejection or repudiation.

spurned his overtures of friendship

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Time Traveler for decline

Time Traveler

The first known use of decline was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Decline.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/decline. Accessed 31 Oct. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on decline

Dictionary: Definition of decline

Medical Dictionary: Definition of decline

Nglish: Translation of decline for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of decline for Arabic Speakers

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