declinedecline2 ●●○ W3 AWL verb 1 decrease [intransitive]LESS to decrease in quantity or importance Spending on information technology has declined. Car sales have declined by a quarter. After the war, the city declined in importance.► see thesaurus at decrease2 say no [intransitive, transitive]REFUSE formal to say no politely when someone invites you somewhere, offers you something, or wants you to do something Offered the position of chairman, Smith declined, preferring to keep his current job. Mary declined a hot drink and went to her room.decline an offer/invitation etc Mary declined Jay’s invitation to dinner.decline to do something The court declined to review her case. The minister declined to comment (=refused to speak to people who report the news) about the progress of the peace talks.► see thesaurus at refuse3 become worse [intransitive]WORSE to become gradually worse in quality syn deteriorate Her health has been declining progressively for several months. Qualified staff are leaving and standards are declining.4 → somebody’s declining years5 grammar a) [intransitive]SL if a noun, pronoun, or adjective declines, its form changes according to whether it is the subject, object etc of a sentence b) [transitive]SL if you decline a noun, pronoun, or adjective, you show the various forms that it can take —declining adjective declining attendance at baseball games→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusdecline• Computer sales declined 2.1 percent this year.• When asked to comment on details of the agreement, the President declined.• Defence equipment's share of sales, if not yet profit, is declining.• Ed asked me to run the new division for them, but I declined.• The bishop was invited to attend the opening ceremony, but he declined.• Riker, a radio preacher, saw his popularity decline after World War II.• Sir Alfred's interest was declining and Louis Stanley, his brother-in-law, was playing a bigger part.• Water quality is declining due to too many dams and pumps.• The pilot declined medical treatment after the accident.• In the early 1970s some of these movements began to decline or were suppressed, but others continued to flourish.• A State Department spokesman, also displaying a talent for diplomacy, declined to characterize the appointment as a promotion.• He declined to comment on the time frame for another discount rate cut.• I asked Mr Hughes if he was satisfied with the jury's verdict but he declined to comment.• The Prime Minister was asked for his opinion but declined to comment.• The brokerage declined to give a forecast for the full year through March.• A security officer at the factory, who declined to give his name, said he had seen two men leave the building.• The cultural and intellectual calibre of the clergy has since declined, while intolerance and aggressiveness are on the increase.• Mr Casey regrets that he will have to decline your kind invitation owing to a prior engagement.decline an offer/invitation etc• He now regretted that he had declined an invitation from Cromwell to be his chaplain two years previously.• Neil Kinnock has again declined an invitation to brief the media's industry hacks at the Labour party conference.• Then Ayling's housekeeper came to ask how many people there would be for lunch and Rain declined an invitation to stay.