I'm looking for a word that means "becoming lost or forgotten," much like how obsolescent means "becoming obsolete" or how moribund means "approaching death; dying." I want to use it in the sense that certain knowledge of the past is becoming lost/forgotten. A sample sentence follows:

"It is a shame that certain traditional customs are [adjectival form of word meaning "becoming lost/forgotten"].

When I say I want a word meaning “becoming lost/forgotten,” I mean to say that the word should connote something that is in the process of becoming less known. In other words, the word I am looking for should mean “in the process of becoming lost or forgotten.” I am trying to be as specific as possible.

Thank you

PS: My example about “obsolescent” is a perfect instance of what the word I’m looking for should be like.

  • 2
    ....are disappearing.
    – user 66974
    Oct 16, 2018 at 8:30
  • 1
    ..... are dying.
    – Zebrafish
    Oct 16, 2018 at 8:33
  • You may use “forgotten”.
    – user 66974
    Oct 16, 2018 at 8:46
  • Ironically, I would use obsolete . . . Oct 16, 2018 at 8:46
  • 1
    Sorry if I insist, but “disappearing” is a term often associated with traditions that are “becoming lost”. google.it/…
    – user 66974
    Oct 16, 2018 at 9:13

5 Answers 5


How about "waning"?

"It is a shame that certain traditional customs are waning"

From Merriam-Websters dictionary:



verb \ˈwān\ waned; waning

Definition of wane

Intransitive Verb

(Entry 2 of 2)

2: to fall gradually from power, prosperity, or influence

Here, falling from influence is apt.

  • “Waning” implies weakening, not becoming lost.
    – user320354
    Oct 16, 2018 at 9:22
  • More options: petering out, atrophying, crumbling, collapsing
    – J. Pannu
    Oct 16, 2018 at 9:30
  • "It is a shame that certain traditional customs are collapsing". I think this meets the conditions closely because collapsing implies not only the present situation but forecasts the future too. Let's think about what happens when something collapses? It becomes lost.
    – J. Pannu
    Oct 16, 2018 at 9:54
  • 1
    Thank you for your effort. Note that Stack Exchange answers are “right” answers, not ideas, suggestions, or opinions. To show that yours is the right answer, please edit to include an explanation, context, and supporting facts, such as the definition from a good online dictionary. This is what makes answers useful – to the asker, and to future visitors. See: [“Real questions have answers, not items or ideas or opinions”]( stackoverflow.blog/2011/01/17/real-questions-have-answers).
    – bookmanu
    Oct 16, 2018 at 10:16

"It is a shame that certain traditional customs are fading."

From Merriam-Webster's definition of fade:

1 : to lose freshness, strength, or vitality : WITHER
// fading flowers
2 : to lose freshness or brilliance of color
// The fabrics faded in the strong sunshine.
3 : to sink away : VANISH
// a fading memory
// The smile faded from his face.

  • This is pretty close, although not exactly there. Thank you; I will take it under consideration!
    – user320354
    Oct 16, 2018 at 9:09

As single words I came up with these (hopefully in order of suitability): dwindling, declining, waning, and diminishing.

"It is a shame that certain traditional customs are dwindling.





In two words, using the word "becoming _____" the possibilities increase, but that is not your question. Perhaps bygone would work as an example.




adjective 1. deteriorating gradually, as in quality, health, or character … a declining birth rate. he's in declining health a declining industry https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/declining

"It is a shame that certain traditional customs are declining"


"It is a shame that certain traditional customs are in decline."


is the right word here, as in:

4) lost traditions
Syn: … forgotten, consigned to oblivion, extinct, dead, gone
© Academic, 2000-2017, http://thesaurus_en.enacademic.com/7644

The sentence in context would be:

"It is a shame that certain traditional customs are being lost (to posterity)".

  • 1
    Yes, “lost” means “lost.” I need a word meaning “in the process of becoming lost,” i.e. not yet lost. See my example about “obsolescent.”
    – user320354
    Oct 16, 2018 at 9:26
  • Replace becoming with being and that should work.
    – Kris
    Oct 16, 2018 at 9:27
  • Of course it would work. But that isn’t what I’m looking for. Just as “obsolescent” means “becoming obsolete,” I want word meaning “becoming lost.” If no such word exists, I’ll have to go with “disappearing” or “fading,” as others have suggested.
    – user320354
    Oct 16, 2018 at 9:30
  • Lost is not only a verb but also an adjective. So you don't need an adjective form of lost.
    – Kris
    Oct 16, 2018 at 9:36
  • Yes, you are right. But “obsolescent” is an adjective and look what it means. There’s a link in my question.
    – user320354
    Oct 16, 2018 at 9:37

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