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1 definition found
 for Declension of the needle
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Declension \De*clen"sion\, n. [Apparently corrupted fr. F.
     d['e]clinaison, fr. L. declinatio, fr. declinare. See
     Decline, and cf. Declination.]
     1. The act or the state of declining; declination; descent;
        slope.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              The declension of the land from that place to the
              sea.                                  --T. Burnet.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. A falling off towards a worse state; a downward tendency;
        deterioration; decay; as, the declension of virtue, of
        science, of a state, etc.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Seduced the pitch and height of all his thoughts
              To base declension.                   --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. Act of courteously refusing; act of declining; a
        declinature; refusal; as, the declension of a nomination.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     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.
            [1913 Webster]
  
     Note: 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.
           --Harris.
           [1913 Webster]
  
     Declension of the needle, declination of the needle.
        [1913 Webster]

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