Whether in reference to chocolate cake for breakfast or wild all-night parties, decadence means extravagance, luxury, and self-indulgence with a sense of moral decline.

The Latin root of decadence means "to fall down," and this may help you understand the full sense of the word. Decadence is not simply a synonym for excess; it also suggests that one's morals have gone down. The word is usually negative but not always. When hostile critics called a group of French writers and artists in the late 1800s decadents, these poets and painters embraced the label. When a pastry chef calls her creation Chocolate Decadence, she is promoting a mildly guilty pleasure, not announcing the end of Western civilization.

Definitions of decadence
  1. noun
    the state of being degenerate in mental or moral qualities
    synonyms: decadency, degeneracy, degeneration
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    type of:
    abasement, abjection, degradation
    a low or downcast state
  2. noun
    excess in action and immoderate indulgence of bodily appetites, especially in passion or indulgence
    synonyms: intemperance, intemperateness, self-indulgence
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    fling, spree
    a brief indulgence of your impulses
    dissipation, dissolution, licentiousness, looseness, profligacy
    dissolute indulgence in sensual pleasure
    a bout of drinking or drug taking
    spending spree
    a brief period of extravagant spending
    type of:
    humoring, indulgence, indulging, pampering
    the act of indulging or gratifying a desire
Word Family

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