• To move downwards, to fall, to drop.
  • To become weaker or worse.
  • To bend downward; to bring down; to depress; to cause to bend, or fall.
  • To cause to decrease or diminish.
  • To turn or bend aside; to deviate; to stray; to withdraw.
  • To choose not to do something; refuse, forbear, refrain.
  • To inflect for case, number and sometimes gender; more specifically, to recite all the different declined forms of a noun.
  • To run through from first to last; to recite in order as though declining a noun.
  • To reject a penalty against the opposing team, usually because the result of accepting it would benefit the non-penalized team less than the preceding play.


Opposite words


  • From Middle English declinen, and ultimately Latin declīnō, from de + clīnō, from Proto-Indo-European *ḱley- (English lean). The senses arrived from two separate pathways in Middle English:
  • The grammatical sense came from Old English declīnian, which was borrowed directly from the Latin etymon.
  • All senses except the grammatical sense were derived from those of Old French decliner. Old French itself borrowed the verb from Latin.

Modern English dictionary

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