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[dih-pree-shee-ey-shuh n] /dɪˌpri ʃiˈeɪ ʃən/
decrease in value due to wear and tear, decay, decline in price, etc.
such a decrease as allowed in computing the value of property for tax purposes.
a decrease in the purchasing or exchange value of money.
a lowering in estimation.
Origin of depreciation
1730-40, Americanism; depreciate + -ion
Related forms
nondepreciation, noun
predepreciation, noun
redepreciation, noun
underdepreciation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for depreciation
  • Many writers treat devaluation and depreciation as synonymous.
  • Instead of allowing depreciation without any preconditions, it should be matched with production.
  • And it costs thousands of dollars in renovations to beat the depreciation curve.
  • Now the central bank is having to resist rouble depreciation.
  • depreciation also reduces your basis for calculating the gain or loss on a later sale or exchange.
  • It is a little premature to view the pound's depreciation as heralding a market free-fall.
  • depreciation periods can vary, based on the equipment involved.
  • Setting a value on options is tricky, but so is valuing other business expenses, such as leases or goodwill depreciation.
  • As unemployment rises, prices and wages are bid down, until the needed depreciation is attained.
  • It takes no account of the depreciation of capital goods, and so overstates the value of production.
British Dictionary definitions for depreciation


  1. the reduction in value of a fixed asset due to use, obsolescence, etc
  2. the amount deducted from gross profit to allow for such reduction in value
(accounting) a modified amount permitted for purposes of tax deduction
the act or an instance of depreciating or belittling; disparagement
a decrease in the exchange value of currency against gold or other currencies brought about by excess supply of that currency under conditions of fluctuating exchange rates Compare devaluation (sense 1)
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 depreciation

1767, "a lowering of value" (originally of currency), noun of action from depreciate. Meaning "loss of value of a durable good by age or wear" is from 1900.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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depreciation in Culture
depreciation [(di-pree-shee-ay-shuhn)]

A decline over time in the value of a tangible asset, such as a house or car.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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