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Decline involves a downward change over time, for example:

Note: distinguish the noun decline from the adjective obsolete. Decline refers to the degenerating of something (compare obsolescence) whereas obsolete refers to the outdatedness of something or labels something as no longer in use. Decline represents the process of declining, a gradual sinking and wasting away.

Social decline or moral decline is typically characterised as reduced adherence to cultural or social norms or values and widespread lapses in ethical behavior. Compare social decay.


  • From Latin de (“down”) + clīnō (“I bend, I incline”).

See also

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