decrease

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

To put it simply, the Skin-Care Diet is all about minimizing the steps in your skin-care routine to decrease irritation. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Why Koreans Are Ditching Their Famous 10-Step Routines for the Skin-Care Diet," 29 Sep. 2018 Lawrenceville officials voted to decrease the millage rate of 1.909 mills to 1.826 mills for the 2018/19 fiscal year. Karen Huppertz, ajc, "Lawrenceville lowers millage rate for 2018/19 Fiscal Year," 13 July 2018 On Sunday, temperatures are expected to slightly decrease, with a high of 99 degrees, a low of 83 and a 20 percent chance of rain. Bayan Wang, azcentral, "Phoenix forecast: Reprieve from 3 days of rain in Valley until late Friday," 12 July 2018 The Turtle Hospital on Marathon Key and the University of Florida’s Sea Turtle Hospital, working closely together, have used human anti-cancer drug treatments such as fluorouracil to decrease post-surgical recurrence of eye tumors in sea turtles. Jessica Alice Farrell, Smithsonian, "Should We Share Human Cancer Treatments With Tumorous Turtles?," 11 July 2018 Cortical folding appears to decrease with age across large swaths of the frontal, parietal and occipital lobes in both young people with autism and controls. Rachel Zamzow, Scientific American, "Brains of Children with Autism Show Unusual Folding Patterns," 9 July 2018 Temperatures slowly began to decrease Sunday afternoon and are expected to continue to do so over the next few days. Lyndsay Winkley, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Count of homes damaged, destroyed by Alpine fire more than doubles," 8 July 2018 Funding has fallen in the past two fiscal years, from $750 million in 2016 to $615 million in 2018, while Congress seems poised to decrease it even further to less than $600 million. The Christian Science Monitor, "Why Trump can’t ignore Central America," 6 July 2018 Walk with Ease was developed by the Arthritis Foundation and is designed to decrease disability, reduce discomfort, and build confidence in the ability to be physically active. Staff Report, Daily Southtown, "Community news: Crisis Center sets charity golf outing," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The 15 states that have passed hands-free driving laws saw a 16 percent decrease in traffic fatalities in the two years after the law was passed. Fiza Pirani, ajc, "Driving in Atlanta is painful — but it’s far from the worst," 11 July 2018 Every other year saw a decrease going into the summer. Kate Morrissey, Anchorage Daily News, "Illegal border crossings decrease for the first time in 2018," 7 July 2018 Hamilton County saw a 34 percent decrease in overdose deaths in the first five months of this year compared with the same period in 2017. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Trump team cannot get its story straight on separating migrant families," 18 June 2018 Turtles from India to Utah are facing drastic population decreases, and not all of them have birthing areas as secure as those off the west African coast. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Global Warming Could Make These Sea Turtles 98% Female," 27 Dec. 2018 The emissions that come from public land use are closely tied with fossil fuel production on those lands, the USGS writes, so when extraction decreases, emissions decrease too. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Drilling on US public lands causes 24 percent of the nation’s CO2 emissions," 27 Nov. 2018 One of the effects of climate change is a decrease in the mass of ice sheets in polar regions. Hans Aschim, Harper's BAZAAR, "Three Women in Science Who Broke the Glass Ceiling," 5 Oct. 2018 After that time, the researchers saw a statistically significant decrease in participants' blood pressure. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Surprise: Celery Juice Will Not Cure All of Your Health Issues," 25 Jan. 2019 If the company were to bring more awareness to sustainability, their annual cup usage would likely see a significant decrease. Spoon U, Teen Vogue, "How Starbucks Can Make a Bigger Difference Than Going Strawless," 20 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 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

19 Mar 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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