Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Becoming gradually less; waning.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Becoming gradually less; diminishing.
  • adj. Waning.
  • n. A crescent oriented with horns turned to sinister (pointing right).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Becoming less by gradual diminution; decreasing.
  • n. A crescent with the horns directed towards the sinister.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Decreasing; becoming gradually less; waning, as the moon.
  • Specifically— In heraldry, decreasing or waning: said of the moon when represented with the points toward the sinister side. Also decours.
  • In botany, diminishing gradually from below upward.
  • n. In heraldry, the moon in her decrement: used as a bearing. See decrement, 3.

Etymologies

Latin dēcrēscēns, dēcrēscent-, present participle of dēcrēscere, to decrease; see decrease.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From decressant, from Anglo-Norman, present participle of decrestre ("to decrease") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Thin scuds flew swiftly over the moon's decrescent form.

    Alonzo and Melissa The Unfeeling Father

  • We were quite out of earshot from the road, and it would be hard to imagine a more desolate place than it appeared, between two and three o'clock on that March night, the bare twigs of the birch-trees wriggling in the bleak wind, the faint light of the decrescent moon, that seemed to be upside down in the sky, falling on the white rocks, and on the whitened branches torn down by the winter's storms, lying like bleached bones upon the ground before us.

    Paul Patoff

Comments

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  • My rule when I started my monovocalics list was to use the form with the most occurrences of the vowel, so I listed decrescence. But since then, I've tagged by number of vowels, so I can see you'd expect decrescent to be listed too.

    Darn, an excuse to list more words...

    September 16, 2008

  • Mono, moll.

    September 16, 2008