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

According to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association, the market composite index — a measure of total loan application volume — decreased 3.4 percent from a week earlier. Kathy Orton, Washington Post, "Mortgage rates poised to drop after Federal Reserve announcement," 20 June 2019 The number of violent crimes decreased 6 percent, driven in part by drops in the number of homicides and rapes. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "Denver saw largest rise in violent crime rate last year compared to other large cities; early 2019 data show improvement," 19 June 2019 The percentage of white, non-Hispanic residents, meanwhile, decreased in those seven counties, though non-Hispanic whites continued to hold a majority in all Illinois counties except Cook. Meghan Kelly, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago-area counties grow older and less white, new census data shows," 19 June 2019 Deportations peaked at around 400,000 a year at the beginning of this decade and decreased to about 250,000 or fewer undocumented immigrants annually in recent years, according to ICE statistics. NBC News, "Trump claims on eve of reelection launch that ICE will begin deporting 'millions'," 18 June 2019 The percent of children in single-parent families decreased from 33 percent in 2016 to 29 percent in 2017. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska ranks 45th in the nation for children’s well-being, report says," 18 June 2019 The total number of crashes and fatalities that involved motorcycles and bicyclists also decreased, according to the report. Molly Hudson, azcentral, "2018 Arizona crash report shows fewer people injured but more deaths overall," 18 June 2019 From 2015 to 2017, efforts to stop poaching decreased the number of killings to about 100 animals a year. Elise Hammond And Brian Ries, CNN, "An Africa wildlife preserve says an elephant hasn't been poached there in more than a year," 17 June 2019 His role decreased during a first-round playoff series against Golden State but the Clippers continued to speak highly of him. Andrew Greif, latimes.com, "Clippers prepare for offseason with Kawhi Leonard and big decisions in mind," 14 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

An in-depth analysis of road congestion in 403 cities in 56 countries found just 90 showed any kind of measurable decrease in gridlock, with many registering double digits gains in the amount of time spent stuck in gridlock. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Sick of traffic? Get cities to invest in bikes and mass transit, says report," 11 June 2019 In this case a law was associated with a roughly one-quarter decrease in painkiller overdoses in a 2014 study, and with a roughly one-quarter increase in such ODs in a 2019 study using the same, generally accepted methods. Robert Verbruggen, National Review, "Legal Pot Won’t Control the Opioid Epidemic," 10 June 2019 As a result, the air at the base of the flow experiences a decrease in pressure. National Geographic, "Volcanic 'avalanches' glide on air, boosting their deadly speed," 8 Apr. 2019 Levels of the hormone testosterone decrease within the first month of fatherhood, and dads who spend more time with kids have lower levels of the hormone, according to a 2011 study in the journal PNAS. Teal Burrell, Discover Magazine, "Making Sense of Mommy Brain," 1 Jan. 2019 If one increases while the other decreases, that merits a –1. Quanta Magazine, "‘Functional Fingerprint’ May Identify Brains Over a Lifetime," 16 Aug. 2018 But the city shed nearly 3,000 low-income black households, a 17%, decrease, between 2000 and 2015, according to a report by the Urban Displacement Project at the University of California, Berkeley. Washington Post, "Film captures the loss of black San Franciscans," 7 June 2019 That reduction in physical activity can trigger weight gain, decrease in muscle tone, and a loss of balance that can increase the risk of falls. Colin Driscoll, sun-sentinel.com, "Correcting hearing loss can help keep older adults engaged in life," 5 June 2019 Despite dramatic decreases in lead poisoning nationally and locally, the number of children poisoned in Cleveland is still higher than the rest of Ohio and four times more than other kids nationally. Rachel Dissell, cleveland.com, "Cleveland City Council legislation aims for “systemic change” in approach to lead poisoning," 3 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

25 Jun 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

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