[dek-uh-duhns, dih-keyd-ns]
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.
moral degeneration or decay; turpitude.
unrestrained or excessive self-indulgence.
(often initial capital letter) the decadent movement in literature.
Also, decadency [dek-uh-duhn-see, dih-keyd-n-] .

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

nondecadence, noun
nondecadency, noun
overdecadence, noun

1. degeneration, retrogression, decline. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
decadence or decadency (ˈdɛkədəns)
1.  deterioration, esp of morality or culture; decay; degeneration
2.  the state reached through such a process
[C16: from French, from Medieval Latin dēcadentia, literally: a falling away; see decay]
decadency or decadency
[C16: from French, from Medieval Latin dēcadentia, literally: a falling away; see decay]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1540s, from M.Fr. decadence (early 15c.), from M.L. decadentia "decay," from decadentem (nom. decadens) "decaying," prp. of decadere "to decay," from L. de- "apart, down" + cadere "to fall" (see case (1)). Used of periods in art since 1852, on French model.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


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.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The search for longevity genes is a reflection of the 20th-21st centuries
  science decadence.
Then come oracles against the apostasy and moral decadence of the people.
On first glance, the salon delivered all the glamour and decadence expressed in
  the advertisements.
It has long been high time for that taxpayer-funded waste, abuse, and decadence
  to end.
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