Pronunciation: (di-klen'shun), [key]
1. Gram.
a. the inflection of nouns, pronouns, and adjectives for categories such as case and number.
b. the whole set of inflected forms of such a word, or the recital thereof in a fixed order.
c. a class of such words having similar sets of inflected forms: the Latin second declension.
2. an act or instance of declining.
3. a bending, sloping, or moving downward: land with a gentle declension toward the sea.
4. deterioration; decline.
5. deviation, as from a standard.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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