decrease

verb
de·​crease | \di-ˈkrēs, ˈdē-ˌ \
decreased; decreasing

Definition of decrease 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to grow progressively less (as in size, amount, number, or intensity) Yearly sales decreased by five percent. His little remaining strength had been decreasing rapidly for two or three days preceding …— Charles Dickens

transitive verb

: to cause to decrease decrease the risk of heart disease trying to decrease our use of fossil fuels

decrease

noun
de·​crease | \ˈdē-ˌkrēs, di-ˈ \

Definition of decrease (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the process of growing progressively less (as in size, amount, number, or intensity) : the process of decreasing a decrease in productivity

2 : an amount of diminution : reduction a decrease of 20,000 saw a 20% decrease in violent crime

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Other Words from decrease

Verb

decreasingly \di-​ˈkrē-​siŋ-​lē, dē-​ \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for decrease

Verb

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

Examples of decrease in a Sentence

Verb

Sales decreased by five percent this year. The driver decreased her speed as she approached the curve. These changes will decrease our expenses.

Noun

Studies report a recent decrease in traffic accidents. Because of the injury, some decrease in mobility is to be expected. a decrease of three dollars
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The number of teen pregnancies in the United States, for example, has decreased dramatically since the 1990s — and a lot of that seems to have to do with young adults using better contraception. Sarah Kliff, Vox, "The American abortion rate is at an all-time low," 3 Dec. 2018 Overall, between 2000 and 2017, there has been a lot of progress: annual global deaths have decreased 80 percent, from 545,174 to 109,638. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "The fight against measles has taken a turn for the worse," 30 Nov. 2018 By today, those reserves have decreased by the equivalent of about $1 trillion, which the PBOC has counterbalanced with about $1.2 trillion of domestic credit. John Greenwood, WSJ, "How China Copes With Capital Flight," 19 Nov. 2018 To lower the center of gravity and to make the bike easier to manage, Ducati has decreased the suspension travel by half an inch, to 7.25 inches. Nick Goddard, Popular Mechanics, "Road Tested: 2019 Ducati Multistrada Enduro 1260," 24 Oct. 2018 Our number of unicorns have decreased by 20 percent of the world’s unicorns, which are future job creators, etc. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Why tech companies need to reinvent themselves every three to four years," 10 Oct. 2018 Though the episode count has decreased, the runtime will not. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Game of Thrones Season 8: Everything We Know," 25 July 2018 The use of asbestos in the United States has decreased dramatically in recent decades as links to health effects such as mesothelioma and lung cancer have come into focus. Eli Rosenberg, chicagotribune.com, "Asbestos sold by Russian company is branded with Trump's face," 11 July 2018 In the latest survey, released in June, medium and large manufacturers’ confidence had increased to 20-year highs but small manufacturers’ confidence had decreased. Salvador Rizzo, Washington Post, "Anatomy of a Trump rally: 76 percent of claims are false, misleading or lacking evidence," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Crude oil export prices were down 15.4% in the month, marking the strongest monthly decrease since February 2016, Statistics Canada said. Kim Mackrael, WSJ, "Canada’s Trade Deficit Widened in October," 6 Dec. 2018 During the cooler winter months, decreasing temperatures bring decreases in humidity as well. Maria Cassano, Allure, "The Best Humidifiers to Buy at Every Price Point," 24 Oct. 2018 The plans could change if forecasts indicate a decrease in the strength or change in the track of the storm. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Florence strengthens into a hurricane, threatens to hit Southeast US," 2 Oct. 2018 Research has also shown that marijuana can stop cancer from spreading, decrease anxiety, and may help control seizures. Gabrielle Sorto, Teen Vogue, "Malaysia May Consider Legalizing Medical Marijuana," 26 Sep. 2018 Of the group, 143 of them were tasked with following CR, eating 25 percent fewer calories than usual — a decrease deemed feasible based on animal studies. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "Not So Fast," 24 Sep. 2018 After age 37, a woman's odds of becoming pregnant decreases rapidly, ACOG says, and by the time a woman celebrates her 40th birthday, there's a less than 10% chance of getting pregnant within each menstrual cycle. Amy Capetta, Woman's Day, "When Are You Most Fertile?," 18 Sep. 2018 Dog Flu 2018 Nearly all dogs exposed to the illness become infected, and 80 percent show symptoms like coughing, lethargy, fever, decrease appetite, and a running nose. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "The Dog Flu Is Spreading Across the Country for the First Time In Years," 16 Aug. 2018 The schools have proposed a millage rate of 21.75 mills, a slight decrease from last year’s 21.85. Tyler Estep, ajc, "Gwinnett slated to vote on lowering millage rate," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'decrease.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of decrease

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for decrease

Verb

Middle English decreessen, from Anglo-French decrestre, from Latin decrescere, from de- + crescere to grow — more at crescent

Noun

see decrease entry 1

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Statistics for decrease

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for decrease

The first known use of decrease was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for decrease

decrease

verb

English Language Learners Definition of decrease

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to become smaller in size, amount, number, etc.

: to make (something) smaller in size, amount, number, etc.

decrease

noun

English Language Learners Definition of decrease (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act of becoming smaller or of making something smaller in size, amount, number, etc.

: the amount by which something is made smaller

decrease

verb
de·​crease | \di-ˈkrēs \
decreased; decreasing

Kids Definition of decrease

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to grow less or cause to grow less The numbers of students decreased.

decrease

noun
de·​crease | \ˈdē-ˌkrēs \

Kids Definition of decrease (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the process of growing less a gradual decrease in interest

2 : the amount by which something grows less The school saw a five percent decrease in students.

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More from Merriam-Webster on decrease

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for decrease

Spanish Central: Translation of decrease

Nglish: Translation of decrease for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of decrease for Arabic Speakers

Comments on decrease

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