From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishdeclinede‧cline1 /dɪˈklaɪn/ ●●○W3AWL noun [singular, uncountable] 🔊 🔊 LESSa decrease in the quality, quantity, or importance of somethingdecline in 🔊 There has been a decline in the size of families.decline of 🔊 the decline of manufacturingrapid/sharp/steep/dramatic decline 🔊 a rapid decline in unemploymentsteady/gradual/long-term decline 🔊 The island’s population initially numbered 180, but there was a gradual decline until only 40 people were left. 🔊 the economic decline faced by many citiesin decline/on the decline (=falling) 🔊 the widely held belief that educational standards are in decline fall/go etc into decline (=become less important, successful etc) 🔊 The port fell into decline in the 1950s.COLLOCATIONS – Meaning 2: adjectivessharp/steep (=by a large amount)The higher prices caused a sharp decline in sales.rapid (=fast)We noticed a rapid decline in his health.dramatic (=extremely fast, and by a large amount)The last three years have seen a dramatic decline in the number of tigers in the area.marked (=very noticeable)Hunting led to a marked decline in bird numbers.gradualAfter 1870, there was a gradual decline of the disease.steady/progressive (=gradual but continuous)There has been a steady decline in club membership.a long-term decline (=happening for a long time)The long-term decline in the manufacturing industry is still continuing.economic/industrial etc declineThis area has been severely affected by long-term industrial decline.verbscause/lead to a declineThe use of agricultural chemicals has led to a decline in water quality.go/fall into decline (=become less important, successful etc)At the beginning of the century the cloth trade was going into decline.suffer a declineThe firm suffered a sharp decline in its profits.stop/halt a decline (=stop it from continuing)These measures are intended to halt the decline in fish populations.reverse a decline (=make something start to improve again)The main aim is to reverse the decline of the world’s environment.see a decline (=used to say that a decline happens at a particular time or in a particular place)The 20th century saw a steady decline in the rural population.
declinedecline2 ●●○W3AWL verb 🔊 🔊 1decrease [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 decrease2say 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 refuse3become 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 years5grammara)[intransitive]SL if a noun, pronoun, or adjective declines, its form changes according to whether it is the subject, object etc of a sentenceb)[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