decline

Her breath smelled so bad he had to decline her invitation for a kiss. Ever since then, their love affair has been on the decline.

Watch those parts of speech! The verb to decline means to refuse to accept, but the noun decline means a downward slope, the opposite of an "incline." At the gym, the treadmill usually has an "incline" button to control how steep a slope you're climbing. Sadly, there's no button for "decline," which would be so much easier. Nationally, wages are on the decline, but, surprisingly, spending seems to be holding steady. These are not the only words that contain the element cline, which means "to bend." The prefix is what tells you which way the bend is going. Decline implies a going, or turning, down.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: decline

1
vn
grow worse
a gradual decrease; as of stored charge or current
2
vn
go down
a downward slope or bend
3
v
show unwillingness towards
4
v
inflect for number, gender, case, etc., "in many languages, speakers decline nouns, pronouns, and adjectives"
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: decline
1

v grow worse

Synonyms:
worsen
Antonyms:
ameliorate, better, improve, meliorate
get better
ameliorate, amend, better, improve, meliorate
to make better
show more antonyms...
Types:
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inflame
become inflamed; get sore
come down, sicken
get sick
degenerate, deteriorate, devolve, drop
grow worse
deprive, impoverish
take away
fail
get worse
tumble
suffer a sudden downfall, overthrow, or defeat
drop away, drop off, fall away, slip
get worse
suffer
get worse
lose, suffer
be set at a disadvantage
regress, retrograde, retrogress
get worse or fall back to a previous condition
turn down
take a downward direction
fatigue, jade, pall, tire, weary
lose interest or become bored with something or somebody
wan
become pale and sickly
contract, get, take
be stricken by an illness, fall victim to an illness
canker
become infected with a canker
fade, languish
become feeble
rot, waste
become physically weaker
disestablish
deprive (an established church) of its status
backslide, lapse
drop to a lower level, as in one's morals or standards
drop off, fall back, fall behind, lose, recede
retreat
Type of:
change state, turn
undergo a transformation or a change of position or action

v grow smaller

Synonyms:
go down, wane
Types:
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dip
go down momentarily
wear on
pass slowly (of time)
drop
go down in value
fall off, sink, slump
fall heavily or suddenly; decline markedly
tumble
fall suddenly and sharply
Type of:
decrease, diminish, fall, lessen
decrease in size, extent, or range

n a gradual decrease; as of stored charge or current

Synonyms:
decay
Types:
exponential decay, exponential return
a decrease that follows an exponential function
relaxation, relaxation behavior
(physics) the exponential return of a system to equilibrium after a disturbance
Type of:
decrease, decrement
a process of becoming smaller or shorter

n change toward something smaller or lower

Synonyms:
diminution
Types:
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declension, decline in quality, deterioration, worsening
process of changing to an inferior state
detumescence
diminution of swelling; the subsidence of anything swollen
ebb, ebbing, wane
a gradual decline (in size or strength or power or number)
erosion
a gradual decline of something
loss
gradual decline in amount or activity
nosedive
a sudden sharp drop or rapid decline
sinking spell
a temporary decline in health or value
slippage
decline from a standard level of performance or achievement
epilation
loss of hair; the result of removing hair
reducing
loss of excess weight (as by dieting); becoming slimmer
drop-off, falling off, falloff, slack, slump
a noticeable deterioration in performance or quality
Type of:
decrease, decrement
a process of becoming smaller or shorter

n a condition inferior to an earlier condition; a gradual falling off from a better state

Synonyms:
declination
Antonyms:
improvement, melioration
a condition superior to an earlier condition
Types:
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disuse, neglect
the state of something that has been unused and neglected
twilight
a condition of decline following successes
wreck
something or someone that has suffered ruin or dilapidation
omission
something that has been omitted
Type of:
condition, status
a state at a particular time
2

v go down

“The roof declines here”
Types:
dip, sink
appear to move downward
subside
sink to a lower level or form a depression
Type of:
drop
to fall vertically

v go down in value

Synonyms:
correct, slump
Type of:
come down, descend, fall, go down
move downward and lower, but not necessarily all the way

n a downward slope or bend

Synonyms:
declension, declination, declivity, descent, downslope, fall
Antonyms:
acclivity, ascent, climb, raise, rise, upgrade
an upward slope or grade (as in a road)
Types:
downhill
the downward slope of a hill
steep
a steep place (as on a hill)
Type of:
incline, side, slope
an elevated geological formation
3

v show unwillingness towards

“he declined to join the group on a hike”
Synonyms:
refuse
Antonyms:
accept, consent, go for
give an affirmative reply to; respond favorably to
Types:
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disdain, freeze off, pooh-pooh, reject, scorn, spurn, turn down
reject with contempt
contract out
refuse to pay a levy to a union for political use
regret
decline formally or politely
repudiate
refuse to recognize or pay
disobey
refuse to go along with; refuse to follow; be disobedient
rebuff, repel, snub
reject outright and bluntly
sit in
participate in an act of civil disobedience
counteract, countermine, sabotage, subvert, undermine, weaken
destroy property or hinder normal operations
balk, baulk, jib, resist
refuse to comply
Type of:
react, respond
show a response or a reaction to something

v refuse to accept

Synonyms:
pass up, refuse, reject, turn down
disdain, freeze off, pooh-pooh, reject, scorn, spurn, turn down
reject with contempt
Antonyms:
accept, have, take
receive willingly something given or offered
have, receive
get something; come into possession of
show more antonyms...
Types:
dishonor, dishonour
refuse to accept
bounce
refuse to accept and send back
4

v inflect for number, gender, case, etc., "in many languages, speakers decline nouns, pronouns, and adjectives"

Type of:
inflect
change the form of a word in accordance as required by the grammatical rules of the language
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