verb Etymology: Middle English deminishen, alteration of diminuen, from Anglo-French diminuer, from Late Latin diminuere, alteration of Latin deminuere, from de- + minuere to lessen — more at minor Date: 15th century transitive verb 1. to make less or cause to appear less <
diminish an army's strength
2. to lessen the authority, dignity, or reputation of ; belittle <
diminish a rival's accomplishments
3. to cause to taper intransitive verb 1. to become gradually less (as in size or importance) ; dwindle 2. taper Synonyms: see decreasediminishable adjectivediminishment noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Diminish — Di*min ish, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Diminished}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Diminishing}.] [Pref. di (= L. dis ) + minish: cf. L. diminuere, F. diminuer, OE. diminuen. See {Dis }, and {Minish}.] 1. To make smaller in any manner; to reduce in bulk or amount;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • diminish — UK US /dɪˈmɪnɪʃ/ verb [I or T] ► to reduce or be reduced in size, importance, or value: »If consumers start losing confidence, it will diminish demand for household goods. »Investors can diversify their holdings in order to diminish risk. »Over a …   Financial and business terms

  • diminish — (v.) early 15c., from merger of two obsolete verbs, diminue and minish. Diminue is from O.Fr. diminuer make small, from L. diminuere break into small pieces, variant of deminuere lessen, diminish, from de completely + minuere make small (see… …   Etymology dictionary

  • diminish — [v1] become or cause to be less abate, abbreviate, attenuate, become smaller, close, contract, curtail, cut, decline, decrease, depreciate, die out, drain, dwindle, ebb, extenuate, fade away, lessen, lower, minify, moderate, peter out, recede,… …   New thesaurus

  • Diminish — Di*min ish, v. i. To become or appear less or smaller; to lessen; as, the apparent size of an object diminishes as we recede from it. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • diminish — I verb abate, abbreviate, abrade, abridge, alleviate, assuage, bate, become smaller, belittle, bound, cause to be smaller, cause to taper, cheapen, compress, consume, contract, curb, curtail, cut back, cut down, damp down, dampen, decelerate,… …   Law dictionary

  • diminish — reduce, *decrease, lessen, abate, dwindle Analogous words: wane, ebb, *abate, subside: *moderate, temper: lighten, alleviate, mitigate (see RELIEVE): attenuate, extenuate (see THIN) Contrasted words: enlarge, augment, *increase: * …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • diminish — ► VERB ▪ make or become less. ● (the law of) diminishing returns Cf. ↑the law of diminishing returns ORIGIN Latin deminuere lessen …   English terms dictionary

  • diminish — [də min′ish] vt. [ME diminishen, a blend of diminuen, to reduce (< OFr diminuer < L diminuere, var. of deminuere < de , from + minuere, to lessen < minus, small) & minishen, to make smaller < OFr menusier < VL * minutiare < L …   English World dictionary

  • diminish — 01. Cooking and freezing do not [diminish] the spicy heat of a hot pepper. 02. The threat of war has [diminished] now that the government has withdrawn its troops from the disputed territory. 03. The Prime Minister refuses to allow the power of… …   Grammatical examples in English

  • diminish */*/ — UK [dɪˈmɪnɪʃ] / US verb Word forms diminish : present tense I/you/we/they diminish he/she/it diminishes present participle diminishing past tense diminished past participle diminished 1) [intransitive] to become less The intensity of the sound… …   English dictionary

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