When something gets worse due to neglect or an unfortunate health problem, stuff starts to deteriorate — or fall apart.

The word deteriorate describes anytime something gets worse. Due to neglect, a relationship can deteriorate but so can the American highway system. Sadly, there seems to be no end to applications for the word deteriorate. And, the truth is at a certain age we all start deteriorating too.

Definitions of deteriorate
  1. verb
    become worse or disintegrate
    “His mind deteriorated
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    go to pot, go to the dogs
    become ruined
    wear, wear down, wear off, wear out, wear thin
    deteriorate through use or stress
    wear away through erosion or vaporization
    get or become scuffed
    type of:
    crumble, decay, dilapidate
    fall into decay or ruin
  2. verb
    grow worse
    “Her condition deteriorated
    synonyms: degenerate, devolve, drop
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    convalesce, recover, recuperate
    get over an illness or shock
    restore to good health or strength
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    fatigue, jade, pall, tire, weary
    lose interest or become bored with something or somebody
    fade, languish
    become feeble
    rot, waste
    become physically weaker
    gangrene, mortify, necrose, sphacelate
    undergo necrosis
    conk out, peter out, poop out, run down, run out
    use up all one's strength and energy and stop working
    retire, withdraw
    lose interest
    type of:
    decline, worsen
    grow worse
Word Family

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