From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishdeclinede‧cline1 /dɪˈklaɪn/ ●●○ W3 AWL 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.
Examples from the Corpusdecline• According to the police, however, there was a decline in the level of violence immediately following the signing of the accord.• A decline in coal demand would benefit either the nuclear or gas industries.• Their biggest decline under coach Barry Switzer has been in pass defense.• Its final decline was brought about by a change in the public attitude to death.• We can expect a further decline in job vacancies.• The underlying assumption is that gradual hormonal decline is bad because some physical functions decline at the same time.• The reaction against Gothic continued despite its decline.• The fur industry is already seeing a major decline in sales.• Firms with large debts may not have the financial strength to survive a prolonged sales decline or a recession.• Stock markets in Europe showed similar declines.• He said the decline is partly because retailers have lifted prices for mobile phones after cutting them earlier in 1995.decline in• a decline in exportsdeclinedecline2 ●●○ 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.From Longman Business Dictionarydeclinede‧cline1 /dɪˈklaɪn/ verb [intransitive]1COMMERCEif an industry or country declines, it becomes less profitable, productive, wealthy etcThis type of business is a declining sector of the UK.2COMMERCEMARKETINGif sales, profits, production etc decline, they become lessCar sales have declined by a quarter.As profitability declines, people have started to leave farming.→ See Verb tabledeclinedecline2 noun [countable, uncountable]1when sales, profits, production etc become lessExports had collapsed, causing a sharp decline in national income.The increase in profit came despite a decline in sales.2when an industry or country becomes less profitable, productive, wealthy etcThe decline in the province’s manufacturing sector is worrying.a false and damaging picture of a nation in declineOrigin decline2 (1300-1400) French décliner, from Latin declinare “to turn aside, inflect”