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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The percentage of positive tests per week decreased from 10% four weeks ago to 5% last week, likely in part because a broader range of people were being tested rather than just the very sick. Brieanna J. Frank, azcentral, "Arizona coronavirus update: 16,039 confirmed cases, 799 known deaths as of Saturday," 23 May 2020 That will be the case until there’s a vaccine to confer widespread immunity, as well as better testing capacity and steady declines in deaths and cases to decrease the burden on the health care system, Brown says. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "Is There Any Safe Way to Socialize During the Coronavirus Pandemic?," 19 May 2020 The primary purpose of the monies is to increase academic achievement for all students to decrease equitable disparities and meet students’ mental and behavioral needs in the classroom. oregonlive, "Two young political candidates with community service experience want to represent East Portland and Gresham in the Oregon House," 12 May 2020 In addition to increased cleaning and disinfecting around all hotels, the initiative is also helping alter procedures like check-in to decrease person-to-person contact. Cailey Rizzo, Travel + Leisure, "Marriott's Gift Cards Are 20% Off Right Now and Require No Commitment to Location or Date (Video)," 12 May 2020 Cocoa powder has no sweetness and nearly no fat; chocolate’s sweetness decreases and its fat increases as the percentage of cacao goes up. Los Angeles Times, "The science behind creating your perfect brownie," 10 May 2020 April sales tax receipts decreased 30% from April 2019 and were $239 million below the level forecast. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan tax revenues plunge 43% in April, giving foreshadow of budget crunch," 8 May 2020 Research shows that walking is decreased in obese individuals and also declines with weight gain. Stefani Sassos, Ms, Rdn, Cso, Good Housekeeping, "8 Tips to Follow for When You’re Walking for Weight Loss," 5 May 2020 And then manufacturers, pressed to produce more, are decreasing the number of discrete items to maximize efficiency. Laura Reiley, Anchorage Daily News, "The industry says we have enough food. Here’s why some store shelves are empty anyway.," 15 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The five-round draft would be a drastic decrease from years past, when the draft would be 40 rounds. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers may recruit like a college team with MLB draft shortened to five rounds," 9 May 2020 Thus far, city officials project a $45 million decrease in business license taxes and $20 million less in transient lodging taxes. oregonlive, "Portland mayor proposes new budget, warns of layoffs without city unions agreement on furloughs, wage freezes," 8 May 2020 An analysis released Wednesday by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau also showed a $313 million decrease in tax collections between July 2019 and April when compared with the same time period a year before. Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "State tax collections fell off a cliff in April as Wisconsin stayed home, delayed tax filings," 6 May 2020 The unit has a significant decrease from 16 total falls in 2018 to five total falls in 2019. Alice Adams, Houston Chronicle, "Salute to Nurses: The Houston Chronicle honors 2020's top nurse leaders," 4 May 2020 Auto insurers, such as Berkshire’s Geico, have actually returned some funds or offered premium credits to consumers as driving decreases, which could translate into fewer accidents. Fortune, "What to expect during Berkshire Hathaway’s ‘virtual’ annual meeting this weekend," 2 May 2020 Most notably the significant decrease in air traffic has had a clear impact. Popular Science, "The unexpected way COVID-19 is screwing up weather reports," 29 Apr. 2020 So, one of the ways to increase downrange energy, decrease drop and minimize wind deflection of these slow bullets is to give them sharper noses. Ron Spomer, Outdoor Life, "2 Tricks to Make Your .30/30 More Effective Beyond 150 Yards," 29 Apr. 2020 Extrapolating further, the work makes an even heftier assumption: that a decrease in GDP can therefore be used to calculate the lost life-years of an economic crash. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "How does economic collapse alter the mortality rate?," 28 Apr. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about decrease

Time Traveler for decrease

Time Traveler

The first known use of decrease was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for decrease

Last Updated

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Decrease.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/decrease. Accessed 31 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for decrease

decrease

verb
How to pronounce decrease (audio) How to pronounce decrease (audio)

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
How to pronounce decrease (audio) How to pronounce decrease (audio)

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on decrease

What made you want to look up decrease? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!