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


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

Other Words from decrease


decreasingly \ di-​ˈkrē-​siŋ-​lē How to pronounce decrease (audio) , dē-​ \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for decrease


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 New data from Hopper, the online booking platform, suggests airfare should decrease from this summer's record-high prices, averaging less than $300 round-trip for domestic itineraries booked this month. Zach Wichter, USA TODAY, 2 Aug. 2022 Kaiser said that county monoclonal antibody clinics, which offer a treatment for those newly infected that can significantly decrease the odds of developing severe illness, have recently been quite busy. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 July 2022 Some doctors believe that resting during recovery from an acute Covid-19 case might decrease the chances of developing long Covid, but there is no data or evidence indicating that. Sumathi Reddy, WSJ, 27 July 2022 Flight delays, cancellations decrease in July for U.S. Chantal Da Silva, NBC News, 27 July 2022 Though some may feel the clothing is in the upper range there is a membership that can significantly decrease prices. Linda Gandee, cleveland, 26 July 2022 When people experience silence, their blood pressure, heart rate, and stress hormones decrease. Rebecca Joy Stanborough, SELF, 18 July 2022 Allport said that racial prejudice against Black people could decrease among White Americans if the two groups had interpersonal contact. John Blake, CNN, 3 July 2022 Regulation can often be circumvented and may further decrease competition by creating compliance costs that only the largest companies can bear. Gabriel Nicholas, Washington Post, 24 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Meta is poised to report its first period of zero sales growth since the company’s initial public offering a decade ago, along with a 33 percent decrease in net income. Julia Love,, 25 July 2022 The cells are designed for fast charging and high-power environments with a minimal decrease in function even after thousands of charges and uses. Jamie Hailstone, Forbes, 19 July 2022 Industrial production is forecast to have fallen 1.0% last month, compared with April’s 2.9% decrease. Jeffrey Sparshott, WSJ, 12 June 2022 A few years later, De Saussure was able to prove that the sky’s blue tone becomes increasingly darker with a decrease in humidity, concluding that the color of the sky is determined by the water content of the air. Carol Besler, Robb Report, 8 June 2022 Before the 2021 report, the highest number of states with a membership decrease came in 2018, when 12 states saw a decline. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 23 May 2022 That second dose was associated with another 9% decrease in the odds of long Covid and that improvement lasted, on average, for at least nine weeks. Elizabeth Cooney, STAT, 19 May 2022 The only region that continued to see water savings is the North Coast region, with a 4.3% decrease in usage. Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2022 But usage of the company’s traditional video services fell, with a 1.5% decrease in revenue. Brian Steinberg, Variety, 28 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of decrease


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense


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

Learn More About decrease

Time Traveler for decrease

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near decrease



decreasing cost

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Statistics for decrease

Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Decrease.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for decrease


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.


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on decrease

Nglish: Translation of decrease for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of decrease for Arabic Speakers


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