Share this entry


Synonyms of decline in English:


  • 1 she declined all invitations he offered me a cigarette but I declined
    turn down, reject, brush aside, refuse, rebuff, spurn, disdain, look down one's nose at, repulse, repudiate, dismiss, forgo, deny oneself, pass up, refuse to take advantage of, turn one's back on;
    abstain (from), say no to, shake one's head, send one's regrets
    informal give the thumbs down (to), give the red light (to), give something a miss, give someone the brush-off
    British informal knock back
    Australian informal snout
    [Antonyms] accept
  • 2 the number of small local traders has declined
    decrease, reduce, get smaller, grow smaller, lessen, get less, diminish, wane, dwindle, contract, shrink, fall off, taper off, tail off, peter out;
    drop, fall, go down, sink, slump, plummet, plunge
    informal nosedive, take a nosedive, take a header, go into a tailspin, crash
    [Antonyms] increase
  • 3 standards of craftsmanship steadily declined
    deteriorate, degenerate, decay, crumble, collapse, fail, fall, sink, slump, slip, slide, go downhill, worsen, get worse, go to rack and ruin, stagnate, atrophy, wither, weaken, fade, fade away, wane, ebb;
    be abandoned, be neglected, be disregarded, be forgotten
    Australian/New Zealand informal go to the pack
    [Antonyms] flourish
  • noun

    Back to top  
  • 1 the company suffered a decline in profits
    North American downtick
    informal nosedive, crash, let-up
    [Antonyms] increase
  • 2 there is a link between pollution and forest decline
    dated decadence
    rare devolution
  • Phrases

    in decline

    the prosperity of the Mediterranean world was in decline
    waning, declining, on the decline, decaying, crumbling, collapsing, atrophying, failing, disappearing, dying, moribund, past its prime, obsolescent
    informal on its last legs, on the way out

    Choose the right word

    decline, refuse, reject, spurn
    See refuse1

    Definition of decline in:

    Share this entry


    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 ads and access premium resources