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Declension – WordWednesdayFun

Declension is not a word you encounter in everyday conversations. I last heard it used regularly back in school  and in reference to learning Latin.

But seeing the purpose of this series is to increase word power, I thought heck! Why not use it? And, it is also the ‘word of the day’ in Merriam-Webster.


noun dih-KLEN-shun


1 : the inflectional forms of a noun, pronoun, or adjective
2 : a falling off or away : deterioration
3 : descent, slope

The most common declension in modern English is the set of plural nouns marked as plural with a simple “-s.”
“You jump in and begin seeing and hearing simple words in the foreign language and start translating, learning nouns, verbs, and other parts of speech without memorizing declensions and without tears.” — Reid Kanaley, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 2 May 2013
Did You Know?

Declension came into English (via Middle French) in the first half of the 15th century, originating in the Latin verb declinare, meaning “to inflect” or “to turn aside.” The word seems to have whiled away its time in the narrow field of grammar until Shakespeare put a new sense of the word in his play Richard III in 1593: “A beauty-waning and distressed widow / … Seduc’d the pitch and height of his degree / To base declension and loath’d bigamy.” This “deterioration” sense led within a few decades to the newest sense of the word still in common use, “descent” or “slope.” The 19th century saw still another new sense of the word—meaning “a courteous refusal”—but that sense has remained quite rare.

Test Your Vocabulary

Unscramble the letters to create a word that means “typical example” and that can also specifically mean “an example of a declension

showing a word in all its inflectional forms”: AGDRAMIP.

Answers on a postcard 🙂

The Urban Dictionary goes its own way. I think you can safely say do not rely on this source if you wish to become an authority!

the series of steps in someone or something’s downfall. aka the great descent of something that was once renowned or prominent.
“Boy those f*cking steroid scandals were really the declension of the MLB.”

“Damn, the declension of Mike Tyson was started when he bit off Holyfields ear, but finished when he acted in ‘The Hangover’.”

“I’ll tell you what, the declension of young white men, himself, sits in the oval office twittling his thumbs on the fact that he and his BETTER HALF attract more women than a fucking big dick festival.”
by fuckyourselv12 May 28, 2009



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One Comment

  1. Adam Lawrence Adam Lawrence

    Funny that the Urban Dictionary entries (at least in this case) are at once crude and pedantic.

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