decrement

play
noun dec·re·ment \ˈde-krə-mənt\

Definition of decrement

  1. 1 :  a gradual decrease in quality or quantity

  2. 2a :  the quantity lost by diminution or wasteb :  the amount of decrease (as of a variable)

decremental

play \ˌde-krə-ˈmen-təl\ adjective

decrement was our Word of the Day on 01/22/2007. Hear the podcast!

Examples of decrement in a Sentence

  1. each decrement in amount is limited to one third of the previous total

Recent Examples of decrement from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'decrement'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Even if you've never seen "decrement" before, you might be familiar with "increment," a word for the action or process of increasing or for something that is gained or added. "Increment" arrived in English, after a rather circuitous route involving Anglo-French, from the Latin verb increscere, meaning "to increase." So it should come as no surprise that decrement derives from the Latin verb decrescere, meaning "to decrease." Both words can be traced further back to the verb "crescere," which means "to grow." Like "increment," "decrement" can also have the (much rarer) mathematical sense of "a change in the value of one or more of a set of variables," but "increment" is used for both positive and negative changes, and "decrement" only for negative ones.

Origin and Etymology of decrement

Latin decrementum, from decrescere


Learn More about decrement


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to become worse as time passes

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Emoji Quiz

  • emoji-the-quiz
  • What phase of the moon is this: 🌖 ?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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!