decrease

verb
de·​crease | \ di-ˈkrēs How to pronounce decrease (audio) , ˈdē-ˌkrēs How to pronounce decrease (audio) \
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 How to pronounce decrease (audio) , di-ˈkrēs How to pronounce decrease (audio) \

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 How to pronounce decreasingly (audio) , 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

While the poll finds about half of Americans want to decrease or eliminate subsidies for fossil fuels, a similar share say subsidies for renewable energy should be increased. BostonGlobe.com, "While a majority of Republicans do approve of Trump’s performance on climate change, his marks among the GOP on the issue are slightly lower compared with other issues. Meanwhile, 7 percent of Democrats and 29 percent of independents approve of Trump on climate change.," 13 Sep. 2019 Cory Booker wants to increase federal aid for students to decrease debt. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Andrew Yang's 2020 Dark-Horse Presidential Platform," 12 Sep. 2019 The universities that charge more than is justified by students’ post-graduate outcomes would be forced to decrease tuition, or drive stronger job placement and salaries for their graduates. David Klein, Quartz, "The US doesn’t have a student debt problem. It has a college tuition crisis," 12 Sep. 2019 California’s current rebate program gives buyers a flat $2,500 for full-battery electric vehicles, and the state has no plan to decrease that rebate over time. Dustin Gardiner, SFChronicle.com, "California lawmakers kill plan to triple electric-vehicle rebates," 11 Sep. 2019 While September snowfall appears to have decreased in recent years, late spring snowfall may be on the increase, as perhaps evidenced in part by a stunning late May snowfall earlier this year. Chris Bianchi, The Denver Post, "Whatever happened to September snowfall in Denver?," 8 Sep. 2019 Also standard is rear-wheel steering, which turns against the direction of the front wheels at low speed to decrease the car's turning circle, or with the front wheels at speed to increase stability. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Everything you wanted to know about Porsche’s new electric car," 4 Sep. 2019 To cite another example, switching from single-use plastic bags to reusable totes, a behavior associated with women’s gender roles, can help to drastically decrease the amount of plastic waste affecting ecosystems everywhere. NBC News, "Does this reusable bag make me look gay? Perhaps, study finds," 2 Sep. 2019 The next study is expected to verify efficacy in humans by measuring the drug’s ability to decrease the number and size of polyps over a 12-month course of treatment. Laura Garcia, ExpressNews.com, "Texas’ cancer-fighting agency invests millions in San Antonio research," 30 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Today, many experts credit VAWA with contributing to a dramatic decrease in the rate of domestic violence in the United States. Tara Law, Time, "The Violence Against Women Act Was Signed 25 Years Ago. Here's How the Law Changed American Culture," 14 Sep. 2019 The city’s tactic of issuing public nuisance tickets and fines has not led to a decrease in the homeless population, as the recent census showed, but pushed them into more remote parts of the city. Scott Wilson, Washington Post, "Trump’s proposals to tackle California homelessness face local, legal obstacles," 12 Sep. 2019 The American Heart Association also reported that coffee consumption was associated with an 8 percent to 15 percent decrease in risk of death. Raj Tawney, BostonGlobe.com, "24 hours with no coffee," 4 Sep. 2019 Some evidence suggests that showing how many favorable responses a post gets adds a competitive dimension to social networks, and the practice has been linked to decreases in mental health. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "Facebook considers hiding "like" counts in news feed," 3 Sep. 2019 Columnist Heather Knight points to a decrease in what’s supposed to be part of the city’s strategy for reducing traffic deaths — enforcing the laws on the five most dangerous driving behaviors. Taylor Kate Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: Hailing a ride to the California ballot," 30 Aug. 2019 The national gas price average has already fallen 15 cents from five weeks ago, and that trend is poised to resume thanks to a decrease in demand after Labor Day and the shift to cheaper-to-produce winter-blend gasoline in September. Editors, USA TODAY, "Summer wildfires, Serena Williams PSA, fall gas prices: 5 things to know Thursday," 22 Aug. 2019 Along the Colorado River, climate change is also taking its toll, responsible for aridification-the progression from cyclical drought to a permanent decrease in water. The Washington Post, The Denver Post, "Trading water for cash along the Colorado River," 20 Aug. 2019 That, along with the predatory behavior of foxes (now eradicated) that had been introduced by European settlers, led to a sharp decrease in the island’s population of little penguins. Besha Rodell, New York Times, "To Save Tiny Penguins, This Suburb Was Wiped Off the Map," 9 Aug. 2019

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 and Noun

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

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Statistics for decrease

Last Updated

1 Oct 2019

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 How to pronounce decrease (audio) \
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 How to pronounce decrease (audio) \

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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