noun dec·a·dence \ˈde-kə-dən(t)s also di-ˈkā-\

: behavior that shows low morals and a great love of pleasure, money, fame, etc.

Full Definition of DECADENCE

:  the process of becoming decadent :  the quality or state of being decadent
:  a period of decline


Middle French, from Medieval Latin decadentia, from Late Latin decadent-, decadens, present participle of decadere to fall, sink — more at decay
First Known Use: 1530

Synonym Discussion of DECADENCE

deterioration, degeneration, decadence, decline mean the falling from a higher to a lower level in quality, character, or vitality. deterioration implies generally the impairment of value or usefulness <the deterioration of the house through neglect>. degeneration stresses physical, intellectual, or especially moral retrogression <the degeneration of their youthful idealism into cynicism>. decadence presupposes a reaching and passing the peak of development and implies a turn downward with a consequent loss in vitality or energy <cited love of luxury as a sign of cultural decadence>. decline differs from decadence in suggesting a more markedly downward direction and greater momentum as well as more obvious evidence of deterioration <the meteoric decline of his career after the scandal>.


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