9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[dek-uh-duh ns, dih-keyd-ns] /ˈdɛk ə dəns, dɪˈkeɪd 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-duh n-see, dih-keyd-n-] /ˈdɛk ə dən si, dɪˈkeɪd n-/ (Show IPA)
Origin of decadence
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
1. degeneration, retrogression, decline. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for decadence
  • 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.
  • The sign's of a long and inexorable decadence are quite clear.
  • It was not just the corruption and decadence of urban society that he was renouncing, but the formal culture that went with it.
  • Really, previous ages of decadence would look upon the modern avant-garde with amazement and admiration.
  • The casino's leading opponents are less concerned with elegance than decadence.
  • Advances in mathematics, astronomy, science and writing are ignored in favor of a focus on the Mayans' decadence and barbarism.
  • No real or full explanation of this singular decadence has ever yet been given; probably none is possible.
British Dictionary definitions for decadence


deterioration, esp of morality or culture; decay; degeneration
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 decadence

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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