verb (used with or without object), de·te·ri·o·rat·ed, de·te·ri·o·rat·ing.

  1. to make or become worse or inferior in character, quality, value, etc.
  2. to disintegrate or wear away.


  1. to make or become worse or lower in quality, value, character, etc; depreciate
  2. (intr) to wear away or disintegrate

1640s (as a past participle adjective, 1570s), from Late Latin deterioratus, past participle of deteriorare “get worse, make worse,” from Latin deterior “worse, lower, inferior, meaner,” contrastive of *deter “bad, lower,” from PIE *de-tero-, from demonstrative stem *de- (see de). Originally transitive in English; intransitive sense is from 1758. Related: Deteriorated; deteriorating.


  1. To grow worse in function or condition.
  2. To weaken or disintegrate.

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