Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To diminish or impair in quality, character, or value.
  • intransitive verb To grow worse; degenerate.
  • intransitive verb To weaken or disintegrate; decay.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To make worse; reduce in quality; lower the essential character or constitution of: as, to deteriorate a race of men or their condition.
  • To grow worse; be or become impaired in quality; degenerate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To make worse; to make inferior in quality or value; to impair.
  • intransitive verb To grow worse; to be impaired in quality; to degenerate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To make worse; to make inferior in quality or value; to impair.
  • verb intransitive To grow worse; to be impaired in quality; to degenerate.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb grow worse
  • verb become worse or disintegrate

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Late Latin dēteriōrāre, dēteriōrāt-, from Latin dēterior, worse; see de- in Indo-European roots.]

Examples

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