Synonym Chooser

How does the noun deterioration differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of deterioration are decadence, decline, and degeneration. While all these words 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

When can decadence be used instead of deterioration?

In some situations, the words decadence and deterioration are roughly equivalent. However, 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

How do decline and decadence relate to one another, in the sense of deterioration?

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

When could degeneration be used to replace deterioration?

The words degeneration and deterioration are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, degeneration stresses physical, intellectual, or especially moral retrogression.

the degeneration of their youthful idealism into cynicism

Thesaurus Entries Near deterioration

Cite this Entry

“Deterioration.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

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