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

Initial jobless claims, a measure of how many workers were laid off across the U.S., decreased by 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 221,000 in the week ended June 29, the Labor Department said Wednesday. Paul Kiernan, WSJ, "U.S. Jobless Claims Fell by 8,000 in June 29 Week," 3 July 2019 In contrast, during the same period, the under 18 population decreased by 1.1 percent. Cindy Krischer Goodman, sun-sentinel.com, "Bring on the early-bird dinners. Floridians are getting older," 21 June 2019 And reparations need to come in the form of money to improve our schools in African American neighborhoods by decreasing class sizes and providing tutors and mentors for those who are struggling. Joseph Gerth, The Courier-Journal, "Lining Louisville Rev. Kevin Cosby's pockets with $9M does not count as reparations," 21 June 2019 One-third of those showed the bone spur, with the frequency decreasing with age. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Cell Phones Might Be Causing Horns to Grow on Young People's Skulls," 20 June 2019 Colorado’s population is on pace to double by 2050, according to campaign materials, while the water supply that originates in the Colorado River Basin could decrease by 6 percent to 20 percent over the same period. Joe Rubino, The Denver Post, "New campaign implores water conservation “For the Love of Colorado”," 20 June 2019 Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, Seasons 52 and Bahama Breeze continue to struggle, with same-restaurant sales decreasing 3.2%, 1.4%, 2.1% and 1.9%. Caroline Glenn, orlandosentinel.com, "Darden stock dips, then rises as 4th quarter revenues fall below analysts’ expectations," 20 June 2019 In spring 2019, overall postsecondary enrollment decreased by 1.7 percent, or nearly 300,000 students, from the previous spring. Alia Wong, The Atlantic, "The End of an American College," 18 June 2019 Buzz60 The world’s population is slowing down and could stop growing — or even begin decreasing — by 2100, according to a United Nations report released Monday. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "The world's population could stop growing by 2100, UN report finds," 18 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The proposal means anyone who was already getting a tax decrease under Elorza’s plan would get a larger one now, and residents who were getting a tax increase are getting a slightly smaller increase. Dan Mcgowan, BostonGlobe.com, "In Providence, mayor and City Council just can’t seem to get along," 3 July 2019 The increases occur as hate crimes against African Americans, Muslims and gay men showed slight decreases statewide last year. Hannah Fry, latimes.com, "Hate crimes targeting Jews and Latinos increased in California in 2018, report says," 3 July 2019 Juvenile arrests continued a long-term decrease in California, plummeting 17% between 2017 and 2018, from roughly 56,250 to 46,420. Megan Cassidy, SFChronicle.com, "California crime reports show killings, youth violence fall again in 2018," 3 July 2019 California’s investment is in part to counteract an 11 percent decrease in how much the Census Bureau is spending on the census compared to 2010. Leonardo Castañeda, The Mercury News, "Trump administration drops citizenship question from 2020 census," 2 July 2019 The Journal Record reports this is down 27% from a year ago following a sharp drop in January and gradual decreases through June. USA TODAY, "Chicago cows, bras for turtles, gold rush: News from around our 50 states," 1 July 2019 These temporary water restrictions will remain in effect until water levels decrease. Kirk Mitchell, The Denver Post, "Clear Creek tubing, swimming and body surfing banned as death toll on Colorado waterways continues to rise," 1 July 2019 Cutting low decreases the plant’s rooting, which inhibits water and nutrient uptake. Jessie Kissinger, Popular Mechanics, "Give Your Yard Back to Nature," 1 July 2019 The decrease in demand collided with a wave of new-development condos coming on to the market, especially in markets like Brickell and Sunny Isles Beach. Candace Taylor, WSJ, "In Miami, There Are Too Many Condos and Not Enough Foreign Buyers," 27 June 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

9 Jul 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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