(New American Roget's College Thesaurus)
Growing worse
1. deterioration, debasement; wane, ebb (see decrease); decline, declension; relapse, backsliding (see regression); recession; rust belt.
2. (moral deterioration) degeneracy, degeneration, degenerateness, degradation; comedown; depravation; depravity, perversion, retrogression, anomie, labefaction; decadence; rake's progress. See uncleanness, oldness.
3. (act of causing deterioration) impairment, injury, damage, detriment; vitiation; discoloration, oxidation; disrepair; debasement; poisoning, pollution, contamination, corruption; adulteration, alloy. See weakness.
4. (gradual worsening) decay, decomposition, dilapidation, decrepitude, ravages of time, wear and tear; corrosion, erosion; moldiness, rottenness; moth and rust, dry rot, mildew, blight; atrophy, attrition, destruction.
1. deteriorate, degenerate; have seen better days, fall off; wane, ebb (see decrease); retrograde (see regression); decline, go down, sink, go downhill, go from bad to worse, go into a tailspin or nosedive, take a turn for the worse, go down in the world, go to the dogs, go to wrack and ruin; jump out of the frying pan into the fire; go or run to seed, run down, lapse, be the worse for; break down; spring a leak, crack; shrivel (see contraction); fade, wilt, go off, wither, molder, rot, decay, go bad; lose ground; cave in; rust, crumble, collapse, go to pieces, totter [to its fall]; perish (see death). Informal, go to pot, go to hell in a handbasket.
2. weaken (see impotence); taint, infect, contaminate, poison, envenom, canker, corrupt, pollute, vitiate, debase, denaturalize; debauch, defile (see impurity); play havoc with; deprave, degrade; pervert, prostitute, discolor, alloy, adulterate, tamper with, gum up; do a job on; fester; curdle; blight, corrode, erode; wear away or out, fray; eat [away or out], gnaw [at the root of]; sap, mine, undermine, sap the foundations of, destroy (see destruction); upset the applecart.
3. injure, impair, damage, harm, hurt, scathe, spoil, mar, dilapidate; mangle, mutilate, disfigure, blemish, deface. Informal, cook.
1. deteriorated, altered [for the worse]; injured, sprung; withering, spoiling, on the wane, on the decline; degenerate, effete; depraved; worse, the worse for; in disrepair; out of order, kilter, commission, or whack, out of repair or tune, ramshackle, on the blink; adulterated, base; imperfect (see imperfection); the worse for wear; battered, weathered, weatherbeaten; stale; dilapidated, ragged, frayed, faded, wilted, shabby, threadbare; seedy, grungy, run-down; worn [to a thread or to a shadow], worn to rags; reduced to a skeleton; at a low ebb, in a bad way, on one's last legs, down on one's luck; undermined; deteriorative, ruinous, deleterious (see badness). Informal, tacky, low-rent. Slang, grotty.
2. decayed, moth-eaten, worm-eaten; mildewed, rusty, moldy, spotted, timeworn, moss-grown; discolored; wasted, crumbling, moldering, rotten, cankered, blighted, tainted; decadent, decrepit; broken down; done for, done up; worn out, used up.
Adverbs — for the worse; out of the frying pan into the fire; if worse comes to worst.
Quotations — Everything is good when it leaves the Creator's hands; everything degenerates in the hands of man (Jean-Jacques Rousseau).
Antonyms, see improvement.
(Roget's IV) n.
Syn. decline, rotting, degeneration, atrophy; see decay 1 .
(Roget's Thesaurus II) noun 1. Descent to a lower level or condition: atrophy, decadence, declension, declination, decline, degeneracy, degeneration. See BETTER. 2. A marked loss of strength or effectiveness: declination, decline, failure. See INCREASE. 3. The condition of being decayed: breakdown, decay, decomposition, disintegration, putrefaction, putrescence, putridness, rot, rottenness, spoilage. See BETTER, THRIVE.

English dictionary for students. 2013.

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