decadent (adj.) "in a state of decline or decay (from a former condition of excellence)," 1837, from Fr. décadent, back formation from décadence (see DECADENCE (Cf. decadence)). In reference to literary (later, other artistic) schools that believed, or affected to believe, they lived in an age of artistic decadence, 1885 in French, 1888 in English. Usually in a bad sense, e.g.:
"Bread, supposedly the staff of life, has become one of our most decadent foods -- doughy, gummy, and without the aroma, flavor, texture, taste and appearance that is typical of good bread." ["College and University Business" 1960]
Beckoning sense of "desirable and satisfying to self-indulgence" begins c.1970 in commercial publications in reference to desserts.

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  • décadent — décadent, ente [ dekadɑ̃, ɑ̃t ] adj. et n. • 1516, repris au XIXe; lat. médiév. decadens → décadence 1 ♦ Qui est en décadence. Période, époque décadente. Art décadent. Monarchie décadente. Peuple décadent. 2 ♦ (v. 1882) L école décadente : l… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • decadent — DECADÉNT, Ă, decadenţi, te, adj. 1. Care se găseşte în decadenţă, în declin. 2. Care prezintă caracterele decadentismului; propriu decadentismului. – Din fr. décadent. Trimis de claudia, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DEX 98  decadént adj. m., pl.… …   Dicționar Român

  • decadent — [dek′ə dənt; ] also [ di kād′ nt] adj. [Fr décadent: see DECADENCE] in a state of decline; characterized by decadence n. 1. a decadent person, esp. a writer or artist active in a period of decadence 2. [often D ] any of a group of late 19th cent …   English World dictionary

  • Decadent — De*ca dent, n. One that is decadent, or deteriorating; esp., one characterized by, or exhibiting, the qualities of those who are degenerating to a lower type; specif. applied to a certain school of modern French writers. The decadents and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • décadent — décadent, ente (entrée créée par le supplément) (dé ka dan, dan t ) adj. Néologisme par latinisme individuel. Qui est en décadence. •   Entre un peuple décadent et, paraît il, épuisé, qui enfante encore de tels ouvrages, et des nations toutes… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Decadent — De*ca dent, a. Decaying; deteriorating. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • decadent — I adjective breaking down, cankered, corrosive, corrupt, crumbling, debauched, decaying, declining, decomposing, decrepit, degenerate, degenerating, depraved, deteriorated, deteriorating, dilapidated, disintegrating, effete, failing, falling,… …   Law dictionary

  • decadent — [adj] corrupt, self indulgent debased, debauched, decaying, declining, degenerate, degraded, depraved, dissolute, effete, evil, gone bad, gone to the dogs*, immoral, lost, moribund, overripe, perverted, wanton, wicked; concept 545 Ant. benevolent …   New thesaurus

  • decadent — ► ADJECTIVE 1) characterized by moral or cultural decline. 2) luxuriously self indulgent. DERIVATIVES decadence noun decadently adverb. ORIGIN French, from Latin decadentia; related to DECAY(Cf. ↑decay) …   English terms dictionary

  • decadent — decadently /dek euh deuhnt lee, di kayd nt /, adv. /dek euh deuhnt, di kayd nt/, adj. 1. characterized by decadence, esp. culturally or morally: a decadent life of excessive money and no sense of responsibility. 2. (often cap.) of or like the… …   Universalium

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