Decrepit people or things are so old and worn-out that it's as if their bones are rattling.
Decrepitude is that state of being extremely old, feeble, worn-out, and practically decayed.
dih CREP ih tude
Part of speech:
(Like “milk,” “rice,” and “education,” uncountable nouns are words for stuff that can’t be broken into exact units. You talk about “some milk,” “the rice,” and “a lot of education,” but you don’t say “a milk,” “three rices,” or “many educations.”
Likewise, talk about “the decrepitude,” “such decrepitude,” “no decrepitude,” and so on, but don’t say “decrepitudes.”)
decrepit, decrepitly, decrepitate, decrepitation
How to use it:
You can be literal and talk about the decrepitude of haunted houses, a city's infrastructure that's reaching decrepitude, your kids assuming you're in a state of helpless decrepitude because the new cell phones are confusing, and so on, but we're more interested in figurative applications.
Talk about an idea, a practice or tradition, a phrase or a language, a fashion or trend, etc. that has decrepitude, shows or reveals decrepitude, suffers from decrepitude, reaches decrepitude, avoids decrepitude, is rescued from decrepitude, totters toward decrepitude, falls into decrepitude, and so on.
You might specify your idea by talking about political decrepitude, moral decrepitude, stylistic decrepitude, decrepitude of the mind, decrepitude of the spirit, etc.
On Twitter, the user "ManWhoHasItAll" has been exposing the decrepitude of society's treatment of working moms. He reverses the genders and says things like, "I have absolutely nothing against businessmen with kids, as long as they can handle the pressure."
Apparently there are still programs being sold online that teach you to "speed read." I assumed they'd all fallen into decrepitude and then disappeared after having been publicly denounced as phony science at best and scams at worst.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "decrepitude" means when you can explain it without saying "feebleness" or "with creaky bones."
Think of something that gets made fun of for being old or outdated, and fill in the blanks: "Before you mock the decrepitude of (something,) consider (a certain part of it that's vibrant, beneficial, or relevant.)"
Example: "Before you mock the decrepitude of non-satellite radio, consider that I pay exactly $0 for it."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month, we're playing New Word Order! It's a card game that I recently created; it involves figuring out the order in which certain words and phrases entered our language. I'll give you several words and/or phrases, and you'll use your knowledge of history, slang, technology, popular culture, fashion, psychology, etc. to put them into chronological order. I'll post the right answer to each question on the following day. If you like this game, you can download and print it to play with your family and friends. (It's free.)
Remember, you don't need to come up with the actual years--just try to get the words in the correct time order.
Try these today:
Metacognition, selfie, & crowd-surfing.
A Point Well Made:
Leonardo da Vinci: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
1. The opposite of DECREPITUDE is
2. The theory _____ decrepitude and is now _____.
A. fell into .. included in textbooks only for historical perspective
B. fell victim to .. so heavily reworked that the original version is unrecognizable
C. partially skirted .. embraced by most professionals in the field
Answers are below.
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Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Today we're considering "decrepitude," a word to describe things that are extremely old.
To tone down that idea and say that something is becoming super-old but isn't quite there yet, you could choose the word "o__________."
And if you try to avoid all outdated things because you love to be current, follow the trends, and always have the newest things, you might have that certain (very common) obsession called "n________."
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