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decadence

[dek-uh-duh ns, dih-keyd-ns] /ˈdɛk ə dəns, dɪˈkeɪd ns/
noun
1.
the act or process of falling into an inferior condition or state; deterioration; decay:
Some historians hold that the fall of Rome can be attributed to internal decadence.
2.
moral degeneration or decay; turpitude.
3.
unrestrained or excessive self-indulgence.
4.
(often initial capital letter) the decadent movement in literature.
Also, decadency
[dek-uh-duh n-see, dih-keyd-n-] /ˈdɛk ə dən si, dɪˈkeɪd n-/ (Show IPA)
.
Origin
1540-1550
1540-50; < Middle French < Medieval Latin dēcadentia, equivalent to Late Latin dēcadent- (stem of dēcadēns), present participle of dēcadere to fall away (de- de- +cad(ere) to fall + -ent- -ent) + -ia noun suffix; see -ence
Related forms
nondecadence, noun
nondecadency, noun
overdecadence, noun
Synonyms
1. degeneration, retrogression, decline.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for de-cadence

decadence

/ˈdɛkədəns/
noun
1.
deterioration, esp of morality or culture; decay; degeneration
2.
the state reached through such a process
Word Origin
C16: from French, from Medieval Latin dēcadentia, literally: a falling away; see decay
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for de-cadence

decadence

n.

1540s, from Middle French décadence (early 15c.), from Medieval Latin decadentia "decay," from decadentem (nominative decadens) "decaying," present participle of decadere "to decay," from Latin de- "apart, down" (see de-) + cadere "to fall" (see case (n.1)). Used of periods in art since 1852, on French model.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for de-cadence

decadence

a period of decline or deterioration of art or literature that follows an era of great achievement. Examples include the Silver Age of Latin literature, which began about AD 18 following the end of the Golden Age, and the Decadent movement at the end of the 19th century in France and England.

Learn more about decadence with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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