deterioration


deterioration
deterioration, degeneration, devolution, decadence, decline, declension are comparable as meaning either the process of falling from a higher to a lower level or the state of a thing when such a falling has occurred.
Deterioration is the least specific of these terms and applies to any process or condition in which there are signs of impairment in quality, in character, or in value
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Chemicals that reduce the deterioration of rubber in aging

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the deterioration of his memory is marked in recent years

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man the toolmaker has made "inanimate instruments". . . do his manual work for him; he is now trying to make them do his mental work .... The price may be the progressive deterioration of our faculties— Inge

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to promise that warfare will be nuclear ... is to assure the further deterioration of our position throughout Asia— Straight

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Degeneration usually implies retrogression and a return to a simpler or more primitive state or condition; when used in reference to plants, animals, or their parts, it usually suggests changes in physical structure, but it may imply a progressive deterioration in structure and function resulting from disease
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the sea squirt in its adult stage evidences degeneration through the loss of the vertebrate characters apparent in its larval stage

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fatty degeneration of the heart

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When applied to persons in groups or as individuals or to states or empires, it suggests physical, intellectual, and often moral degradation and a reversion toward barbarism or, in the case of individuals, bestiality
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the degeneration of the American Indians confined to reservations

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the degeneration of the ancient Roman Empire

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of all the dangers that confront a nation at war, this degeneration of national purpose ... is the greatest— New Republic

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Devolution in technical use may take the place of degeneration
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the devolution of the sea squirt

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but in general use it carries even a stronger implication of opposition to evolution
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the process of human evolution is nothing more than a process of sifting, and where that sifting ceases evolution ceases, becomes, indeed, devolutionEllis

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Decadence presupposes a previous maturing and usually a high degree of excellence; it implies that the falling takes place after a thing (as a people, a literature or other form of art, or a branch of knowledge) has reached the peak of its development
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there seems to be no more pronounced mark of the decadence of a people and its literature than a servile and rigid subserviency to rule— Ellis

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a sharply falling rate of population growth, an abnormally high death rate, extensive illness and the like, are an indication of social decadence and ample cause for alarm on the part of political leaders— Roucek

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In reference to matters of art decadence may imply no more than excessive refinement and studied attention to esthetic detail
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at the turn of the century we all thought we knew what decadence meant—overripeness, overcivilization, a preoccupation with refined sensations . . . the essence of decadence is an excessive subjectivism— Times Lit. Sup.

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Van Vechten produced a kind of mock decadence unique in American literature. His novels are hyperaesthetic, perverse, and often devoted to esoteric or archaic lorzLueders

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Decline is often interchangeable with decadence because it, too, suggests a falling after the peak has been reached in power, prosperity, excellence, or achievement, but it usually suggests more momentum, more obvious evidences of deterioration, and less hope of a return to the earlier state
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the rise and decline of the imperial power

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he is in the decline of Iife

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the association so often noted between the flowering of the intellect and the decline of national vigor— Krutch

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Declension differs from decline only in connoting less precipitancy or a slower or more gradual falling toward extinction or destruction
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seems to mark a declension in his career as an illustrator— Mather

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the moral change, the sad declension from the ancient proud spirit . . . was painfully depressing— Bennett

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Analogous words: impairment, spoiling (see corresponding verbs at INJURE): decaying or decay, decomposition, disintegration, rotting, crumbling (see corresponding verbs at DECAY): debasement, degradation (see corresponding verbs at ABASE)
Antonyms: improvement, amelioration

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • détérioration — [ deterjɔrasjɔ̃ ] n. f. • XVe, bas lat. deterioratio, de deterior « pire » 1 ♦ Action de détériorer, de se détériorer; son résultat. ⇒ dégât, 1. dégradation, dommage, ruine. Détérioration d un appareil, d une machine. Détérioration de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Deterioration — Détérioration Voir « détérioration » sur le Wiktionnaire …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Deterioration — is a term now commonly used in health care, to describe worsening of a patient s condition. It is often used as a shortened form of deterioration not recognised or not acted upon . Much work to reduce harm from deterioration has been undertaken… …   Wikipedia

  • deterioration — I noun abasement, abrasion, atrophy, caducity, consumption, corrosion, corruption, debasement, decadence, decay, declension, declination, decomposition, decrepitude, degradation, demission, depreciation, destruction, deteriorcondicio,… …   Law dictionary

  • deterioration — 1650s, possibly a native formation, or else from Fr. détérioration (15c.), noun of action from détériorer, from L.L. deteriorare (see DETERIORATE (Cf. deteriorate)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Deterioration — De*te ri*o*ra tion, n. [LL. deterioratio: cf. F. d[ e]t[ e]rioration.] The process of growing worse, or the state of having grown worse. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Deterĭoration — (lat.), soviel wie Verschlechterung einer Sache (s. Landwirtschaftliche Betriebserfordernisse); deteriorieren, verschlechtern, verderben …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Deterioration — (lat.), Verschlimmerung; Verschlechterung einer Sache, insofern sie dadurch an Wert verliert; deteriorieren, verschlechtern …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Deterioration — Deterioration, lat., Deteriorirung, Verschlechterung einer Sache; deterioriren, verschlechtern; deterioris conditionis, von schlechterer Beschaffenheit …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • détérioration — DÉTÉRIORATION. sub. f. L action par laquelle on détériore quelque chose, et l état de la chose détériorée. Tout Locataire est responsable des détériorations faites durant son bail. Il y a de grandes détériorations dans cette terre, tout y est… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798


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