late 14c., "detriment, harm;" early 15c. as "a becoming less or smaller," from Anglo-French decres, from the verb (see decrease (v.)).
early 15c., decresen (intransitive) "become less, be diminished gradually," from Anglo-French decreiss-, present-participle stem of decreistre, Old French descroistre (12c., Modern French décroître), from Latin decrescere "to grow less, diminish," from de "away from" (see de-) + crescere "to grow" (from PIE root *ker- (2) "to grow"). Transitive sense of "make less, lessen" is from late 15c. Related: Decreased; decreasing.
mid-15c., "deterioration, decline in value, gradual loss of soundness or perfection," from decay (v.). Obsolete or archaic in reference to fortune or property; meaning "decomposition of organic tissue" is from 1590s. In physics, the meaning "gradual decrease in radioactivity" is by 1897.
c. 1400, decessioun, "departure, separation;" c. 1600, "decrease from a standard, diminution," from Latin decessionem(nominative decessio) "a going away, departure," noun of action from past-participle stem of decedere "to go down, depart," from de "away" (see de-) + cedere "to go" (from PIE root *ked- "to go, yield").
late 15c., "to decrease," also "to decline, deteriorate, lose strength or excellence," from Anglo-French decair, Old North French decair (Old French decheoir, 12c., Modern French déchoir) "to fall, set (of the sun), weaken, decline, decay," from Vulgar Latin *decadere "to fall off," from de "off" (see de-) + Latin cadere "to fall" (from PIE root *kad- "to fall").
Transitive sense of "cause to deteriorate, cause to become unsound or impaired" is from 1530s. Sense of "decompose, rot" is from 1570s. Related: Decayed; decaying.
1795, "to bring to a center, draw to a central point;" 1800, "come to a center," from central + -ize, on model of French centraliser (1790). A word from the French Revolution, generally applied to the transferring of local administration to the central government. Related: Centralized; centralizing.
Government should have a central point throughout its whole periphery. The state of the monthly expences amounted to four hundred millions; but within these seven months, it is reduced to one hundred and eighty millions. Such is the effect of the centralization of government; and the more we centralize it, the more we shall find our expenses decrease. [Louis Antoine de Saint-Just, "Discourse on the State of the Finances," 1793]