De*clen"sion (?), n. [Apparently
corrupted fr. F. déclinaison, fr. L. declinatio,
fr. declinare. See Decline, and cf.
Declination.] 1. The act or the state of
declining; declination; descent; slope.
The declension of the land from that place to
the sea. T. Burnet.
2. A falling off towards a worse state; a
downward tendency; deterioration; decay; as, the declension of
virtue, of science, of a state, etc.
Seduced the pitch and height of all his thoughts Shak.
To base declension.
3. Act of courteously refusing; act of
declining; a declinature; refusal; as, the declension of a
4. (Gram.) (a)
Inflection of nouns, adjectives, etc., according to the
grammatical cases. (b) The form of the
inflection of a word declined by cases; as, the first or the second
declension of nouns, adjectives, etc.
(c) Rehearsing a word as declined.
&fist; The nominative was held to be the primary and original
form, and was likened to a perpendicular line; the variations, or
oblique cases, were regarded as fallings (hence called
casus, cases, or fallings) from the nominative or
perpendicular; and an enumerating of the various forms, being a sort
of progressive descent from the noun's upright form, was called a
Declension of the needle, declination of the