American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A downward slope, as of a hill.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A downward slope. Specifically— The portion of a hill or range of mountains lying on one side or the other of the crest or axis.
- n. In entomology, a part gently sloping away from the general plane of a surface.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Deviation from a horizontal line; gradual descent of surface; inclination downward; slope; -- opposed to
acclivity, or ascent; the same slope, considered as descending, being a declivity, which, considered as ascending, is an acclivity.
- n. A descending surface; a sloping place.
- n. a downward slope or bend
- 1610s, from French déclivité, from Latin declivitatem/dēclīvitās, from dēclivis ("a sloping downward"), from de ("down") + clīvus ("a slope"), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱleywo-, from Proto-Indo-European *ḱley- (“to lean”) (English lean). (Wiktionary)
- Latin dēclīvitās, from dēclīvis, sloping down : dē-, de- + clīvus, slope; see klei- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Sufetula was built one hundred and fifty miles to the south of Carthage: a gentle declivity is watered by a running stream, and shaded by a grove of juniper-trees; and, in the ruins of a triumpha arch, a portico, and three temples of the Corinthian order, curiosity may yet admire the magnificence of the Romans.”
“At the bottom of the declivity was a pond of water bubbling and steaming.”
“On a shelf or cup of the declivity was a little clump of vegetation, and in the midst of it welled up a thin stream of water.”
“The declivity is the greatest of the whole river with the exception of the First Granite Gorge of the Grand”
“First imagine to yourself a superb position, a steep mountain, bristling with rocks, furrowed with ravines and precipices; upon the declivity is the castle.”
“Five years in narrow walls had unfitted me for the enormous declivity of the stairway, for the vastitude of the prison yard.”
“Three sides were thus defended, the steep declivity at the rear precluding attack from that direction.”
“But again, after the car rested a minute, the light, dry earth began to crack and crumble away from under the tires, rolling in a miniature avalanche down the steep declivity into the water.”
“A few hundred yards from the trail was a steep and narrow declivity like something out of a Tony Hillerman story.”
“The whole is a sweet Spot of Earth, not a Span hardly uncultivated with Sugar-Canes; all sides bend with an easy declivity to the Sea, and is ever green," was how one visitor described the island in the 1730s.”
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