Definition of declination in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌdɛklɪˈneɪʃ(ə)n/


1 Astronomy The angular distance of a point north or south of the celestial equator: the declination of Arcturus is 19 degrees north Compare with right ascension and celestial latitude.
More example sentences
  • Also every month, the Moon will reach its minimum declination at 18 north or south.
  • To calculate the distance we need to know the declination of the sun on a given day.
  • Consistently, equinoctial markers and alignments were made to an declination well over half a degree to the north.
1.1The angular deviation of a compass needle from true north (because the magnetic north pole and the geographic north pole do not coincide).
Example sentences
  • The compass needle and a knowledge of magnetic declination, the angle between the magnetic north and geographic north, were developments from this knowledge; they were described by Shen Kua in 1088.
  • On the North Rim the difference between map and compass is 15 east, a distinction known as magnetic declination.
  • He also studied magnetic declination and was the first to observe the secular variation.
2 Linguistics another term for downdrift.
3US Formal refusal: [as modifier]: the mandatory vaccine declination form
More example sentences
  • The actual declination letter disappeared from the file.



Example sentences
  • Important also are planets that make contrasting declinational aspects versus the natal chart.
  • This constituent expresses the effect of departure from a sinusoidal declinational motion.
  • By examining the declinational placements of the planets in your chart, you should find strengths you missed by looking only to the zodiacal signs and houses.


Late Middle English: from Latin declinatio(n-), from the verb declinare (see decline).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: dec¦lin|ation

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