verb (used with object), declined, declining.
to withhold or deny consent to do, enter into or upon, etc.; refuse: He declined to say more about it.
to express inability or reluctance to accept; refuse with courtesy: to decline an invitation; to decline an offer.
to cause to slope or incline downward.
to inflect (a noun, pronoun, or adjective), as Latin puella, declined puella, puellae, puellae, puellam, puella in the five cases of the singular.
to recite or display all or some subset of the inflected forms of a noun, pronoun, or adjective in a fixed order.
verb (used without object), declined, declining.
to express courteous refusal; refuse: We sent him an invitation but he declined.
to bend or slant down; slope downward; descend: The hill declines to the lake.
(of pathways, routes, objects, etc.) to follow a downward course or path: The sun declined in the skies.
to draw toward the close, as the day.
to fail in strength, vigor, character, value, etc.; deteriorate.
to fail or dwindle; sink or fade away: to decline in popularity.
to descend, as to an unworthy level; stoop.
Grammar. to be characterized by declension.
a downward slope; declivity.
a downward movement, as of prices or population; diminution: a decline in the stock market.
a failing or gradual loss, as in strength, character, power, or value; deterioration: the decline of the Roman Empire.
a gradual deterioration of the physical powers, as in later life or in disease: After his seventieth birthday he went into a decline.
progress downward or toward the close, as of the sun or the day.
the later years or last part: He became an editor in the decline of his life.

1275–1325; (v.) Middle English declinen < Old French: to inflect, turn aside, sink < Latin dēclīnāre to slope, incline, bend; compare Greek klī́nein to lean1; (noun) Middle English declin < Old French, derivative of decliner

decliner, noun
predecline, verb (used with object), predeclined, predeclining.
redecline, verb, redeclined, redeclining, noun
undeclined, adjective
undeclining, adjective

1. reject. See refuse1. 9. degenerate, decay, weaken, diminish, languish. 13. hill. 15. retrogression, degeneration, enfeeblement, weakening.

6. rise. 9. improve. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To decline
World English Dictionary
decline (dɪˈklaɪn)
1.  to refuse to do or accept (something), esp politely
2.  (intr) to grow smaller; diminish: demand has declined over the years
3.  to slope or cause to slope downwards
4.  (intr) to deteriorate gradually, as in quality, health, or character
5.  grammar Compare conjugate to state or list the inflections of (a noun, adjective, or pronoun), or (of a noun, adjective, or pronoun) to be inflected for number, case, or gender
6.  gradual deterioration or loss
7.  a movement downwards or towards something smaller; diminution
8.  a downward slope; declivity
9.  archaic any slowly progressive disease, such as tuberculosis
[C14: from Old French decliner to inflect, turn away, sink, from Latin dēclīnāre to bend away, inflect grammatically]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

early 14c., "to turn aside, deviate," from O.Fr. decliner "to bend, turn aside," from L. declinare "to bend from, inflect," from de- "from" + clinare "to bend," from PIE *klei-n-, suffixed form of *klei "to lean" (see lean (v.)). Sense has been altered since 15c. by interpretation
of de- as "downward." Meaning "not to consent" is from 1630s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The cheetah's future may look dim, but conservationists have been working to
  lessen the decline in some areas.
It is important to look at all the different things that could cause a decline,
  including climate change.
Covel, who's been working the delta for 12 years, has seen the commercial
  fishery's decline.
The decline in stock indexes globally cannot reasonably be interpreted as
  entirely the result of a darker economic future.
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