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deteriorate Syllabification: de·te·ri·o·rate
Pronunciation: /dəˈtirēəˌrāt/

Definition of deteriorate in English:


[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.
fail, slump, slip, go downhill, wane, ebb
informal go to pot
decay, degrade, degenerate, break down, decompose, rot, go off, spoil, perish;


Pronunciation: /-ˌrātiv/
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’.


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

Definition of deteriorate in:
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