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

Vars found firearm waiting periods that were as short as 24 hours decreased the overall number of suicide attempts and deaths in a state — not just suicide by firearm. Katherine Webb-hehn, al, "Proposed waiting period for firearms aims to save lives of suicidal Alabamians," 15 Sep. 2019 The goal is to increase the number of adoptions and decreasing the number of animals euthanized. Lici Beveridge, chicagotribune.com, "Volunteers step up to help a struggling animal shelter," 13 Sep. 2019 Meyers said that continuum has helped Milwaukee County decrease the number of youths at Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake. Alison Dirr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee County revises proposal for juvenile offenders — more classes, fewer beds and a new plan for girls," 12 Sep. 2019 Experts expect a ban on e-cigarette flavors will drastically decrease the number of kids who start vaping. Erika Edwards, NBC News, "Ban on flavored e-cigarettes won't help youth already addicted, experts say," 11 Sep. 2019 The cancellation of China’s decades-long one-child policy decreased the number of Chinese babies coming to the U.S., according to Children’s Home Society adoption director Alexis Oberdorfer. Jasmine Johnson, Twin Cities, "Minnesota adoptions falling. International adoptions most affected.," 31 Aug. 2019 There was little discussion of whether these would actually work to decrease the number of mass killings. John Fund, National Review, "Chris Sununu Isn’t Panicking on Gun Control," 11 Aug. 2019 States and hospitals have taken steps to decrease the number of opioids that doctors prescribe to patients; officials have said addictions to prescription painkillers have been a driving force of the current opioid epidemic. Evan Macdonald, cleveland.com, "Drug overdose deaths fell last year in Ohio, but may be on the rise again in Cuyahoga County," 17 July 2019 The proposal includes decreasing the number of residents complaining about the barking from three households to two. Paulina Pineda, azcentral, "Barking dogs keeping you up at night? Tempe could make it easier to cite dog owners," 13 July 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

15 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

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