If something is in a state of deterioration, it's getting worse. A crumbling old house with a caved-in roof and foot-tall weeds growing through the deck is going through deterioration.

Deterioration implies that things are falling apart: something once in good condition is now weakened, worn out, or otherwise in decline. Things often undergo deterioration because of neglect. Time also has a lot to do with deterioration. Museum curators are always worried about stopping the deterioration of their prized antiquities, like the ancient Egyptian mummies that should not be exposed to air.

Definitions of deterioration

n process of changing to an inferior state

declension, decline in quality, worsening
drop-off, falling off, falloff, slack, slump
a noticeable deterioration in performance or quality
Type of:
decline, diminution
change toward something smaller or lower

n a symptom of reduced quality or strength

show 6 types...
hide 6 types...
a state of deterioration in metals caused by oxidation or chemical action
desolation, devastation
the state of being decayed or destroyed
decrepitude, dilapidation
a state of deterioration due to old age or long use
impairment resulting from long use
ruin, ruination
an irrecoverable state of devastation and destruction
a state or condition being blighted
Type of:
an inferior state resulting from the process of decaying

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.