American English

Definition of decline verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they decline
    he / she / it declines
    past simple declined
    -ing form declining
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  1. 1[intransitive] to become smaller, fewer, weaker, etc. Support for the candidate continues to decline. The number of tourists going 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 ride but they declined. decline something to decline an offer/invitation She declined a second glass of wine and called 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. compare conjugate
  4. Idioms
    somebody's declining years (literary)
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    the last years of someone's life
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: decline