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From Middle English declinacioun, borrowed from Middle French declination, from Latin declinatio. Doublet of declension.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌdɛklɪˈneɪʃən/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪʃən


declination (countable and uncountable, plural declinations)

  1. At a given point, the angle between magnetic north and true north.
    Synonym: magnetic declination
  2. At a given point, the angle between the line connecting this point with the geographical center of the earth and the equatorial plane.
    Synonym: δ
    Coordinate term: right ascension
  3. A refusal.
    • 1746, Arthur Collins, Letters And Memorials Of State In the Reigns of Queen Mary:
      the queen's declination from marriage
  4. (grammar, obsolete) Declension.
  5. (archaic) The act or state of bending downward; inclination.
    declination of the head
  6. (archaic) The act or state of falling off or declining from excellence or perfection; deterioration; decay; decline.
    • 1625, Francis [Bacon], “Of Cunning”, in The Essayes [], 3rd edition, London: [] Iohn Haviland for Hanna Barret, →OCLC:
      the declination of monarchy
    • c. 1635, Edmund Waller, To My Young Lady Lucy Sidney:
      Summer [] is not looked on as a time of declination or decay.
  7. (archaic) Deviation.
    • 1692, Richard Bentley, [A Confutation of Atheism] (please specify the sermon), London: [Thomas Parkhurst; Henry Mortlock], published 1692–1693:
      this declination of atoms in their descent
    • November 2, 1690, Robert South, Sinners Inexcusable from Natural Religion Only
      every violation of and declination from the rules

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