Definition of Decline by Merriam-Webster

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The construction of new houses declined five percent this year.

The animal’s numbers are declining rapidly.

My grandmother’s health has been declining since she broke her hip.

The civilization began to decline around 1000 B.C.

The company declined comment on the scandal.

He changed his mind and declined the company’s offer.

I invited him, but he declined.


a period of economic decline

He says that American industry is in a state of decline.

The town fell into decline after the factory closed down.

The economy experienced a decline of two million jobs.

We saw a sharp decline in sales this month.

Declines led advances at the end of the trading day.

There was some decline in stock prices at the end of the trading session.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Kirby decline to speculate on whether the Aug. 31 drawdown of troops would need be be pushed back.

Melissa Mahtani, CNN, 14 Aug. 2021

Only one Oregon county saw population decline over the last decade, with Grant County losing 2.8% of residents.

oregonlive, 13 Aug. 2021

Many actors decline to watch themselves, but for Driver that reluctance amounts to a phobia.

Richard Brod, The New Yorker, 11 Aug. 2021

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If humans act urgently, temperatures will peak and then decline, helping stabilize the planet and life on it.

Justin Worland, Time, 9 Aug. 2021

Contrary to the stock market many are used to, stock prices decline at times.

Essence, 9 Aug. 2021

Unfortunately, the rat population is unlikely to decline any time soon, with climate change making Boston’s winters increasingly mild., 6 Aug. 2021

India already performs poorly on the Global Hunger Index (GHI)—ranking 94 among 107 countries in 2020—and with sharply rising poverty and unemployment, its ranking might likely decline even further.

Manavi Kapur, Quartz, 4 Aug. 2021

Employers can require workers to get vaccinated, but employees can decline because of a disability or sincerely held religious belief, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has determined.

Sarah Freishtat,, 3 Aug. 2021

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The are was a decline in the number of households reporting they sometimes or often do not have enough to eat — a change largely driven by households with children, according to Census Bureau survey data released this week.

Sarah Ewall-wice, CBS News, 13 Aug. 2021

There is no official death toll for the era’s spasmodic violence, which continued through other groups following the Klan’s decline after federal enforcement peaked in 1872.

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Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 11 Aug. 2021

There has been a decline in wind shear, the high-altitude crosswinds that can tear up storms, and a decreased concentration of the dry, dusty air that can inhibit storm growth.

David Fleshler,, 9 Aug. 2021

There has been a decline in wind shear, the high-altitude crosswinds that can tear up storms, and a decreased concentration of the dry, dusty air that can inhibit storm growth.

Nathan Ruiz,, 9 Aug. 2021

The result has been a decline in the proportion of households that own their home, from a peak of over 70% in the early 2000s to around 63% in the past five years, a level last seen in the early 1980s, Schroders said in research published in March.

Hanna Ziady, CNN, 2 Aug. 2021

In recent years, there has been a decline in the population of bees and pollinators due to intensive farming, pesticide use, climate change and mono-cropping.

Mckenzie Sadeghi, USA TODAY, 30 July 2021

Since limiting smartphones, there has been a decline in disciplinary problems, DeYoung said.

Washington Post, 20 July 2021

Also through June, more than 22 percent of nursing homes reported a shortage of nurses or aides, which is a decline from more than 29 percent reported in May.

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These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘decline.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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