Declension

De*clen"sion

(?), n. [Apparently corrupted fr. F. dclinaison, 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.
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Seduced the pitch and height of all his thoughts
To base declension.
Shak.
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3. Act of courteously refusing; act of declining; a declinature; refusal; as, the declension of a nomination.
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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]

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.
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Sat 15th December 2018