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Definition of "declension" [de•clen•sion]

  • Linguistics In certain languages, the inflection of nouns, pronouns, and adjectives in categories such as case, number, and gender. (noun)
  • Linguistics A class of words of one language with the same or a similar system of inflections, such as the first declension in Latin. (noun)
  • A descending slope; a descent. (noun)
  • A decline or decrease; deterioration: "States and empires have their periods of declension” ( Laurence Sterne). (noun)
  • A deviation, as from a standard or practice. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "declension" in a sentence
  • "On the other hand the action of the state-religion upon the state, the condition of Al-Islam during the reign of Al – Rashid, its declension from the primitive creed and its relation to Christianity and Christendom, require a somewhat extended notice."
  • "It is the first declension from the level line of what is right that must be jealously regarded, for the inclined plane is so gentle, that it is easy to fancy we are going straight along."
  • "Health, strength, agility, and animal spirits, she may sorrowing feel diminish; but she hears everyone complain of similar failures, and she misses them unmurmuring, though not unlamenting; but of beauty, every declension is marked with something painful to self-love."