Share this entry

Share this page

deteriorate

Line breaks: de|teri¦or|ate
Pronunciation: /dɪˈtɪərɪəreɪt
 
/

Definition of deteriorate in English:

verb

[no object]
Become progressively worse: relations between the countries had deteriorated sharply (as adjective deteriorating) deteriorating economic conditions
More example sentences
  • Indeed, as far as the railways are concerned, they are far worse and set to deteriorate further in the short term.
  • There is growing unrest in Hong Kong over deteriorating economic and social conditions.
  • If bond prices rise, it could imply that experts reckon economic conditions are deteriorating.
Synonyms
worsen, get worse, decline, be in decline, degenerate, decay;
collapse, fail, fall, drop, sink, slump, slip, slide, go downhill, go backwards, go to rack and ruin, stagnate, wane, ebb
Australian/New Zealand informal go to the pack
decay, degrade, degenerate, break down, decompose, rot, putrefy, go bad, go off, spoil, perish;
wither, atrophy, weaken, fade, break up, disintegrate, become dilapidated, crumble, fall down, collapse, fall apart, fall to pieces
archaic corrupt

Origin

late 16th century (in the sense 'make worse'): from late Latin deteriorat- 'worsened', from the verb deteriorare, from Latin deterior 'worse'.

Derivatives

deteriorative

1
Pronunciation: /-rətɪv/
adjective
Example sentences
  • According to Hillman as well as Hillman and Ursprung, liberalization has a deteriorative effect on economic performance until a cultural adaptation takes place.
  • Molecular mobility within preserved biological materials provides a first approximation of the rate of deteriorative reactions that ultimately affect shelf-life.
  • In a seminal article, Leopold defined senescence in plant cells, along the lines previously proposed by Medawar, as ‘the deteriorative processes that are natural causes of death’.

Definition of deteriorate in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day resilient
Pronunciation: rɪˈzɪlɪənt
adjective
able to recoil or spring back into shape…