Meaning of DECLINE in English
I. de ‧ cline 1 W2 AC /dɪˈklaɪn/ BrE AmE noun [singular, uncountable]
a decrease in the quality, quantity, or importance of something
There has been a decline in the size of families.
the decline of manufacturing
a rapid decline in unemployment
The island’s population initially numbered 180, but there was a gradual decline until only 40 people were left.
the economic decline faced by many cities
in decline/on the decline (=falling)
the widely held belief that educational standards are in decline
fall/go etc into decline (=become less important, successful etc)
The port fell into decline in the 1950s.
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COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)
▪ sharp/steep (=by a large amount)
The higher prices caused a sharp decline in sales.
▪ rapid (=fast)
We noticed a rapid decline in his health.
▪ dramatic (=extremely fast, and by a large amount)
The last three years have seen a dramatic decline in the number of tigers in the area.
▪ marked (=very noticeable)
Hunting led to a marked decline in bird numbers.
After 1870, there was a gradual decline of the disease.
▪ steady/progressive (=gradual but continuous)
There has been a steady decline in club membership.
▪ a long-term decline (=happening for a long time)
The long-term decline in the manufacturing industry is still continuing.
▪ economic/industrial etc decline
This area has been severely affected by long-term industrial decline.
▪ cause/lead to a decline
The use of agricultural chemicals has led to a decline in water quality.
▪ go/fall into decline (=become less important, successful etc)
At the beginning of the century the cloth trade was going into decline.
▪ suffer a decline
The firm suffered a sharp decline in its profits.
▪ stop/halt a decline (=stop it from continuing)
These measures are intended to halt the decline in fish populations.
▪ reverse a decline (=make something start to improve again)
The main aim is to reverse the decline of the world’s environment.
▪ see a decline (=used to say that a decline happens at a particular time or in a particular place)
The 20th century saw a steady decline in the rural population.
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▪ decrease used when the number, amount, or level of something becomes less than it used to be:
There has been a significant decrease in the number of deaths from lung cancer.
a 5% decrease in housing prices
▪ reduction used when the price, amount, or level of something is made lower:
There will be further price reductions in the sales.
A small reduction in costs can mean a large increase in profits.
▪ cut used when a government or company reduces the price, amount, or level of something:
a 1% cut in interest rates
It is possible that there will be further job cuts.
▪ drop/fall used when the number, amount, or level of something goes down, especially by a large amount:
The figures showed a sharp fall in industrial output.
There was a dramatic drop in temperature.
▪ decline used when the number, amount, level, or standard of something goes down, especially gradually:
During the 1970s, there was a gradual decline in the birthrate.
a decline in educational standards
II. decline 2 W3 AC BrE AmE verb
[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: French ; Origin: décliner , from Latin declinare 'to turn aside, inflect' ]
1 . DECREASE [intransitive] to decrease in quantity or importance:
Spending on information technology has declined.
Car sales have declined by a quarter.
After the war, the city declined in importance.
2 . SAY NO [intransitive and transitive] formal to say no politely when someone invites you somewhere, offers you something, or wants you to do something:
Offered the position of chairman, Smith declined, preferring to keep his current job.
Mary declined a hot drink and went to her room.
decline an offer/invitation etc
Mary declined Jay’s invitation to dinner.
decline to do something
The court declined to review her case.
The minister declined to comment (=refused to speak to people who report the news) about the progress of the peace talks.
3 . BECOME WORSE [intransitive] to become gradually worse in quality SYN deteriorate :
Her health has been declining progressively for several months.
Qualified staff are leaving and standards are declining.
4 . sb’s declining years formal the last years of someone’s life
5 . GRAMMAR
a) [intransitive] if a noun, ↑ pronoun , or adjective declines, its form changes according to whether it is the ↑ subject , ↑ object etc of a sentence
b) [transitive] if you decline a noun, ↑ pronoun , or adjective, you show the various forms that it can take
—declining adjective :
declining attendance at baseball games
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Longman - Словарь современного английского языка. 2012