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decline (v.)

late 14c., "to turn aside, deviate" (a sense now archaic), also "sink to a lower level," and, figuratively, "fall to an inferior or impaired condition," from Old French decliner "to sink, decline, degenerate, turn aside," from Latin declinare "to lower; avoid, deviate; bend from, inflect," from de "from" (see de-) + clinare "to bend" (from PIE *klein-, suffixed form of root *klei- "to lean").

In grammar, "to inflect as a noun or adjective," from late 14c. The sense has been altered by interpretation of de- as "downward;" intransitive meaning "to bend or slant down" is from c. 1400. Sense of "not to consent, politely refuse or withhold consent to do" is from 1630s. Related: Declined; declining.

decline (n.)

early 14c., "deterioration, degeneration, a sinking into an impaired or inferior condition," from Old French declin, from decliner "to sink, decline, degenerate" (see decline (v.)). Meaning "the time of life when physical and mental powers are failing" is short for decline of life (by 1711).

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Definitions of decline from WordNet
1
decline (v.)
grow worse;
Synonyms: worsen
decline (v.)
refuse to accept;
Synonyms: refuse / reject / pass up / turn down
decline (v.)
show unwillingness towards;
he declined to join the group on a hike
Synonyms: refuse
decline (v.)
grow smaller;
Synonyms: go down / wane
decline (v.)
go down;
The roof declines here
decline (v.)
go down in value;
Synonyms: slump / correct
decline (v.)
inflect for number, gender, case, etc.;
in many languages, speakers decline nouns, pronouns, and adjectives
2
decline (n.)
change toward something smaller or lower;
Synonyms: diminution
decline (n.)
a condition inferior to an earlier condition; a gradual falling off from a better state;
Synonyms: declination
decline (n.)
a gradual decrease; as of stored charge or current;
Synonyms: decay
decline (n.)
a downward slope or bend;
Synonyms: descent / declivity / fall / declination / declension / downslope
From wordnet.princeton.edu