I. verb (decreased; decreasing) Etymology: Middle English decreessen, from Anglo-French decrestre, from Latin decrescere, from de- + crescere to grow — more at crescent Date: 14th century intransitive verb to grow progressively less (as in size, amount, number, or intensity) transitive verb to cause to decrease • decreasingly adverb Synonyms: decrease, lessen, diminish, reduce, abate, dwindle mean to grow or make less. decrease suggests a progressive decline in size, amount, numbers, or intensity <
slowly decreased the amount of pressure
. lessen suggests a decline in amount rather than in number <
has been unable to lessen her debt
. diminish emphasizes a perceptible loss and implies its subtraction from a total <
his visual acuity has diminished
. reduce implies a bringing down or lowering <
you must reduce your caloric intake
. abate implies a reducing of something excessive or oppressive in force or amount <
the storm abated
. dwindle implies progressive lessening and is applied to things growing visibly smaller <
their provisions dwindled slowly
. II. noun Date: 14th century 1. the process of decreasing 2. an amount of diminution ; reduction

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


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 — 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,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • 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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