decrease

verb
de·​crease | \di-ˈkrēs, ˈdē-ˌ \
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, di-ˈ \

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 , 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

Women are born with millions of eggs, but the number of eggs decreases progressively from birth. Jennifer Gerson, Marie Claire, "Why Can't I Get Pregnant?," 1 Oct. 2018 Over the past 10-15 years, the Northwest Arctic Caribou Herd has decreased by half its size, and the herd has changed their migration patterns. Maka Monture, Teen Vogue, "The Arctic Youth Ambassadors Program Is Bringing Awareness to Environmental and Community Issues in Alaska," 24 Sep. 2018 The Governors Highway Safety Association estimates that the number of walkers killed on roads hit a 32-year high in 2016 - a 27 percent increase since 2007 — even though all other types of traffic deaths decreased by 14 percent. Bruce Selcraig, San Antonio Express-News, "Traffic engineers struggle to curb pedestrian deaths," 19 June 2018 Colorado, Rhode Island, West Virginia and Wyoming have the greatest percentage of children living in group homes, though the report also found that over the previous 10 years, the group home population had decreased by about a third. Teresa Wiltz, USA TODAY, "When Trump signed spending bill, he signed into law a huge overhaul of foster care," 5 May 2018 And politicians, while decreasing taxes for wealthy people, are crying that federal health insurance must be cut back. Paul Seward, STAT, "Emergency departments: the ‘chewing gum and duct tape’ holding together U.S. health care," 3 July 2018 As the measure decreases, an animal’s (or individual’s) vision worsens: At less than 10 cycles per degree, a human is deemed legally blind. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "How Does Your Vision Compare to Other Critters in the Animal Kingdom?," 7 June 2018 Unaccompanied children crossing illegally increased from 4,302 in April to 6,405 in May, while the number of parents traveling with children decreased slightly. Julia Ainsley /, NBC News, "Despite Trump admin crackdown, illegal immigration on border increased in May," 6 June 2018 Over the past year, Alta has increased the range and power of its four-bike portfolio while decreasing prices. Fortune, "This Alta Motorcycle Hints at Harley-Davidson’s Electric Future," 5 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There were 37,133 people killed in car crashes in 2017, a 1.8 percent decrease from last year’s total. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Fewer people died in car crashes in 2017, but the outlook is still grim," 3 Oct. 2018 So the vocational schools should follow this projection of job increase or decrease based on automation. Eric Johnson, Recode, "If they don’t want to lose their jobs to a machine, doctors will need to become compassionate ‘human connectors’," 17 Sep. 2018 The earliest of these satellite missions date back to 1991 and 1992, so researchers can reliably track ice mass increase or decrease over 25 years. Mejs Hasan, WIRED, "How Scientists Tracked Antarctica's Stunning Ice Loss," 13 June 2018 In the Rio Grande Valley sector, that figure shows a 22 percent decrease, though the Big Bend, El Paso and Laredo sectors saw increases of 78, 9 and 48 percent during the same time frame. Julián Aguilar, star-telegram, "Apprehensions at Texas-Mexico border spiked in May," 7 June 2018 The Aurora West Allis Medical Center, which receives the ambulance transports, has preliminary data showing a decrease in emergency-room use and hospital admissions for patients seen by community paramedics in conjunction with hospital staff. Jane Ford-stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "West Allis pilot program saving money by educating families so fewer ambulances go to non-emergency calls," 30 May 2018 United Nations figures on civilian casualties in Afghanistan show a slight decrease in 2017 from the previous year, but the numbers remained at historically high levels, with two-thirds of them caused by the insurgents. Taimoor Shah And Fahim Abed, BostonGlobe.com, "Car bomb explodes in Afghanistan, killing 16, as team tries to defuse it," 23 May 2018 United Nations figures on civilian casualties in Afghanistan show a slight decrease in 2017 from the previous year, but the numbers remained at historically high levels, with two-thirds of them caused by the insurgents. New York Times, "16 Dead in Afghanistan After Car Bomb Explodes as Team Tries to Defuse It," 22 May 2018 Recipients of livers kept on the device showed a 50% average decrease in levels of an enzyme associated with organ damage, compared with recipients of livers preserved on ice. Elie Dolgin, Scientific American, "“Warm Transplants” Save Livers and Lives," 19 Apr. 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

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

Noun

see decrease entry 1

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Statistics for decrease

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

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 \
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 \

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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