Definition of decline verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

        

    decline

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//dɪˈklaɪn//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈklaɪn//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they decline
    BrE BrE//dɪˈklaɪn//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈklaɪn//
     
    he / she / it declines
    BrE BrE//dɪˈklaɪnz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈklaɪnz//
     
    past simple declined
    BrE BrE//dɪˈklaɪnd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈklaɪnd//
     
    past participle declined
    BrE BrE//dɪˈklaɪnd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈklaɪnd//
     
    -ing form declining
    BrE BrE//dɪˈklaɪnɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˈklaɪnɪŋ//
     
    Grammar
     
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  1. 1  [intransitive] (rather formal) to become smaller, fewer, weaker, etc. Support for the party continues to decline. The number of tourists to the resort declined by 10% last year. Her health was declining rapidly.
  2. 2[intransitive, transitive] (formal) to refuse politely to accept or to do something synonym refuse1 I offered to give them a lift but they declined. decline something to decline an offer/invitation She declined a second glass of wine and called for a taxi. decline to do something Their spokesman declined to comment on the allegations.
  3. 3[intransitive, transitive] decline (something) (grammar) if a noun, an adjective or a pronoun declines, it has different forms according to whether it is the subject or the object of a verb, whether it is in the singular or plural, etc. When you decline a noun, etc., you list these forms. See related entries: Grammar
  4. compare conjugate
    Word Origin late Middle English: from Old French decliner, from Latin declinare ‘bend down, turn aside’, from de- ‘down’ + clinare ‘to bend’.Extra examples I absolutely decline to discuss my dealings with him or anyone. Profits declined by 6% this year. The economy has declined sharply in recent years. The market for these products is declining fast. The number of full-time staff has declined from 300 to just 50. This section of the market has slowly declined in importance. I offered to drive them there but they declined. Manufacturing industry has slowly declined in importance. Patients of course have the right to decline treatment. She declined a second glass of wine. The minister declined to be interviewed. The number of tourists visiting the resort declined by 10% last year. We politely declined her invitation.Idioms
    somebody’s declining years
     
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    (literary) the last years of somebody’s life
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: decline