When people assume that their bodies, etc. are absolutely going to get worse as they age -- is there a word for this? I personally think that people are altogether too accepting of this idea -- and that we should be fighting with every tooth and nail to stay as young and fit as we can be, without adopting the lies and "misleadings" of the media, doctors, and other "authorities."

But anyway, is there already a word for this?

  • The converse of what you call "assumed age deterioration" is probably "fetishizing (of) youth", a fairly common phrase: google.com/#q=fetishize%20the%20youth. People who associate aging with deteriorating might be said to fetishize the youth. Or be brainwashed by our "under 30 culture."
    – DyingIsFun
    Aug 11, 2016 at 2:00

1 Answer 1


I'm going to tentatively suggest that there is no single word in English to describe "people's assumption that their bodies/minds are absolutely going to get worse as they age." I think the minimal expression for this is going to be a two-word phrase. With that in mind, you could pair up one of each of these adjectives and nouns as you see fit:

anticipated/expected | senescence/decline

Personally, I prefer "anticipated senescence."

senescence1: the state or process of ageing, especially in humans; old age

I drew on this source for my answer, particularly the following passage (emphasis mine):

Since social and individual expectations anticipated decline in old age, and since one implicit way of thinking about a disease was that it limited what was considered normal functioning, then [senile dementia] would not be considered a disease.

[Source: Health, Disease, and Medicine: Concepts in Medicine by Arthur L. Caplan, James J. McCartney]

  • Not really qualified to be a part of the answer, but I feel like it belongs here in some form: "Terminus" by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
    – pyobum
    Aug 11, 2016 at 2:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.