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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Decline


DECLI'NE, verb intransitive [Latin to lean.]

1. To lean downward; as, the head declines towards the earth.

2. To lean from a right line; to deviate; in a literal sense.

3. To lean or deviate from rectitude, in a moral sense; to leave the path of truth or justice, or the course prescribed.

Yet do I not decline from thy testimonies. Psalms 119:157.

4. To fall; to tend or draw towards the close; as, the day declines.

5. To avoid or shun; to refuse; not to comply; not to do; as, he declined to take any part in the concern.

6. To fall; to fail; to sink; to decay; to be impaired; to tend to a less perfect state; as, the vigor of youth declines in age; health declines; virtue declines; religion declines; national credit and prosperity decline under a corrupt administration.

7. To sink; to diminish; to fall in value; as, the prices of land and goods decline at the close of a war.

DECLI'NE, verb transitive

1. To bend downward; to bring down.

In melancholy deep, with head declined.

2. To bend to one side; to move from a fixed point or right line.

3. To shun or avoid; to refuse; not to engage in; to be cautious not to do or interfere; not to accept or comply with; as, he declined the contest; he declined the offer; he declined the business or pursuit.

4. To inflect; to change the termination of a word, for forming the oblique cases; as, Dominus, Domini, Domino, Dominum, Domine.

DECLI'NE, noun Literally, a leaning from; hence, a falling off; a tendency to a worse state; diminution or decay; deterioration; as the decline of life; the decline of strength; the decline of virtue and religion; the decline of revenues; the decline of agriculture, commerce or manufactures; the decline of learning.