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

Seat pitch — the distance between your seat and the one directly in front of you — has decreased from an average of 35 inches to 31 inches, and on some airlines it has been reduced to 28 inches. Ashley Halsey Iii, latimes.com, "FAA tells airline passengers 'We're a safety agency, not a creature comfort agency'," 3 July 2018 There’s some science behind the connection between cleaning and decreased anxiety, as well. Amy Capetta, Good Housekeeping, "How Spring Cleaning Can Help Manage Stress, According to Psychologists," 21 Mar. 2019 Corporations are spraying pesticides that harm the soil, spearheading irrigation projects that devastate river beds, and decreasing the number of natural resources available to communities that rely upon them. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "A Brazilian Modeling Superstar Makes a Life-Changing Journey Into the Amazon," 7 Mar. 2019 The Valley has about a 30 percent to 40 percent chance of rain Wednesday, Hopper said, adding that those chances decrease to about 20 percent Thursday and Friday. Kelsey Mo, azcentral, "Flash-flood watch in effect for Phoenix area until 2 a.m. Thursday," 11 July 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Chicago police said the city had 252 homicides and 1,100 shootings in the first six months of 2018, a decrease from last year -- but the crimes have been concentrated in predominantly black, low-income neighborhoods. Alex Pappas, Fox News, "Chicago protesters demanding Rahm Emanuel's resignation march to Wrigley Field, closing major roads," 2 Oct. 2018 Vaccination coverage was about 58 percent for children for the whole season, a slight decrease from the last year. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Last year’s flu was brutal—killing 80,000—but vaccine did better than expected," 27 Sep. 2018 Chicago police said the city had 252 homicides and 1,100 shootings in the first six months of this year, a decrease from the same period last year. Sara Burnett, BostonGlobe.com, "Antiviolence protesters shut down part of Chicago freeway," 7 July 2018 Chicago police said the city saw 252 homicides and 1,100 shootings in the first six months of this year, a decrease from the same period last year. Washington Post, "Anti-violence protesters want to shut down Chicago freeway," 7 July 2018 So how did Broward County, where there was an overall $34 million value decrease from the June 1 estimates, come so much closer? Larry Barszewski, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Property values higher than estimated a month ago," 2 July 2018 In April, the home was relisted at its current price of $4,790,000 — a roughly $200,000 decrease from a March 2017 listing of $4,999,999. Allie Gross, Detroit Free Press, "City working with owners of dilapidated house near LCA to avoid condemnation," 30 June 2018 The attendance and economic impact figures represent a decrease from 2017’s second festival, which attracted an estimated 470,000 nighttime visitors during its nine-day run, with an economic impact of $44.3 million. Chris Kaltenbach, baltimoresun.com, "Light City Baltimore attendance, economic impact down in 2018, study finds," 27 June 2018 Women who held team vice president positions made up 23.5 percent (137 of 583), a slight decrease from last year's study. Steve Reed, chicagotribune.com, "Report: NBA still leads men's pro sports in diversity hiring," 26 June 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

16 Apr 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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