Simple Definition of reduce
: to make (something) smaller in size, amount, number, etc.
: to cause (someone) to be in a specified state or condition
: to cause (something) to be in a specified form by breaking it, burning it, etc.
Full Definition of reduce
1 a : to draw together or cause to converge : consolidate <reduce all the questions to one> b (1) : to diminish in size, amount, extent, or number <reduce taxes> <reduce the likelihood of war> (2) : to decrease the volume and concentrate the flavor of by boiling <add the wine and reduce the sauce for two minutes> c : to narrow down : restrict <the Indians were reduced to small reservations> d : to make shorter : abridge
2 archaic : to restore to righteousness : save
3 : to bring to a specified state or condition <the impact of the movie reduced them to tears>
5 a : to bring to a systematic form or character <reduce natural events to laws> b : to put down in written or printed form <reduce an agreement to writing>
6 : to correct (as a fracture) by bringing displaced or broken parts back into their normal positions
8 a : to diminish in strength or density b : to diminish in value
Examples of reduce
The medicine reduces the risk of infection.
We are trying to reduce our debt.
Stricter speed limit enforcement has reduced the number of car accidents.
Her prison sentence was reduced from 15 years to 10.
Origin of reduce
Middle English, to lead back, from Latin reducere, from re- + ducere to lead — more at tow
First Known Use: 14th century
Synonym Discussion of reduce
conquer, vanquish, defeat, subdue, reduce, overcome, overthrow mean to get the better of by force or strategy. conquer implies gaining mastery of <Caesar conquered Gaul>. vanquish implies a complete overpowering <vanquished the enemy and ended the war>. defeat does not imply the finality or completeness of vanquish which it otherwise equals <the Confederates defeated the Union forces at Manassas>. subdue implies a defeating and suppression <subdued the native tribes after years of fighting>. reduce implies a forcing to capitulate or surrender <the city was reduced after a month-long siege>. overcome suggests getting the better of with difficulty or after hard struggle <overcame a host of bureaucratic roadblocks>. overthrow stresses the bringing down or destruction of existing power <violently overthrew the old regime>.
Medical Definition of reduce
1: to correct (as a fracture or a herniated mass) by bringing displaced or broken parts back into their normal positions
2a: to bring to the metallic state by removal of nonmetallic elements <reduce an ore by heat>b: deoxidizec: to combine with or subject to the action of hydrogend: to change (an element or ion) from a higher to a lower oxidation state: to add one or more electrons to (an atom or ion or molecule)
1: to become diminished or lessened; especially : to lose weight by dieting
2: to become reduced <ferrous iron reduces to ferric iron>
3: to undergo meiosis
Seen and Heard
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