deterioration

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
  1. noun
    process of changing to an inferior state
    synonyms: declension, decline in quality, worsening
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    types:
    drop-off, falling off, falloff, slack, slump
    a noticeable deterioration in performance or quality
    type of:
    decline, diminution
    change toward something smaller or lower
  2. noun
    a symptom of reduced quality or strength
    synonyms: impairment
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    types:
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    corrosion
    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
    wear
    impairment resulting from long use
    ruin, ruination
    an irrecoverable state of devastation and destruction
    blight
    a state or condition being blighted
    type of:
    decay
    an inferior state resulting from the process of decaying
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