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.