decrease


decrease
decrease vb Decrease, lessen, diminish, reduce, abate, dwindle denote to make or grow less, but they are not freely interchangeable. Decrease and lessen are often employed in place of any of the others.
Decrease normally retains, even in the transitive, an implication of the process of growing less, and suggests progressive decline
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forces that decrease the population

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his temperature decreases

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his fears decreased as dawn approached

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the rise of the public high school . . . decreased the number and lessened the importance of the academies— Amer. Guide Series: Vt.

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Lessen is a close synonym of decrease but the latter is to be preferred in contexts employing specific numbers; thus, it is idiomatic to say that a fever has lessened or that it has decreased from 101° to 99°
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I hoped to obtain your forgiveness, to lessen your ill opinion— Austen

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Diminish is a more precise word when the ideas of taking away or subtraction by an agent and of resultant perceptible loss are to be emphasized
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their funds were greatly diminished by their extravagance

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his sense of personal initiative is cultivated instead of being diminishedRussell

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Reduce adds to diminish the implication of bringing down, or lowering; it suggests more than any of the others the operation of a personal agent
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reduce the time needed for an operation

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prices were reduced to below cost

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reduce budget estimates drastically

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Reduce also is applicable to lowering in rank, status, or condition
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reduce a sergeant to the ranks

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suddenly reduced from riches to absolute penury— Conrad

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Abate differs from diminish and reduce in its presupposition of something excessive in force, intensity, or amount and in its strong implication of moderation or, especially when referred to taxes or imposts, of deduction
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physically weakened by a stomach disorder that will not abateAlpert

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Dwindle, like decrease, implies progressive lessening, but is more often applied to things capable of growing visibly smaller. It specifically connotes approach to a vanishing point
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hull down—hull down and under—she dwindles to a speck— Kipling

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Analogous words: curtail, *shorten, retrench, abridge, abbreviate: *contract, shrink
Antonyms: increase
Contrasted words: augment, multiply, enlarge (see INCREASE): *extend, protract, prolong, lengthen, elongate: *expand, amplify, swell, dilate, distend

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • decrease — I noun abatement, abbreviation, abridgment, alleviation, attenuation, constriction, contraction, curtailment, cut, cutback, deceleration, declension, declination, decline, decline and fall, decrement, decrescence, deduction, deflation, deminutio …   Law dictionary

  • Decrease — De*crease , v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Decreased}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Decreasing}.] [OE. decrecen, fr. OF. decreistre, F. d[ e]cro[^i]tre, or from the OF. noun (see {Decrease}, n.), fr. L. decrescere to grow less; de + crescere to grow. See {Crescent},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • decrease — [dē krēs′, dikrēs′; ] also, & for n. usually [, dē′krēs΄] vi., vt. decreased, decreasing [ME decresen < OFr decreistre < L decrescere < de , from, away + crescere, grow: see CRESCENT] to become or cause to become less, smaller, etc.;… …   English World dictionary

  • Decrease — De*crease , n. [OE. decrees, OF. decreis, fr. decreistre. See {Decrease}, v.] 1. A becoming less; gradual diminution; decay; as, a decrease of revenue or of strength. [1913 Webster] 2. The wane of the moon. Bacon. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Decrease — De*crease , v. t. To cause to grow less; to diminish gradually; as, extravagance decreases one s means. [1913 Webster] That might decrease their present store. Prior. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • decrease — [n] diminishing, lessening abatement, compression, condensation, constriction, contraction, cutback, decline, declining, decrescence, depression, diminution, discount, downturn, dwindling, ebb, falling off, loss, reduction, shrinkage, striction,… …   New thesaurus

  • decrease — is pronounced with stress on the first syllable as a noun and on the second syllable as a verb …   Modern English usage

  • decrease — ► VERB ▪ make or become smaller or fewer in size, amount, intensity, or degree. ► NOUN 1) an instance of decreasing. 2) the process of decreasing. ORIGIN Latin decrescere, from crescere grow …   English terms dictionary

  • decrease — I UK [diːˈkriːs] / US [dɪˈkrɪs] verb Word forms decrease : present tense I/you/we/they decrease he/she/it decreases present participle decreasing past tense decreased past participle decreased ** Other ways of saying decrease: be/go/come down to… …   English dictionary

  • decrease — ▪ I. decrease de‧crease 2 [ˈdiːkriːs] noun [countable, uncountable] the process of reducing something, or the amount by which it reduces: decrease in • The government announced a 25% decrease in the price of fuel. decrease of • Industrial… …   Financial and business terms


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