di·​min·​ish | \ də-ˈmi-nish How to pronounce diminish (audio) \
diminished; diminishing; diminishes

Definition of diminish

transitive verb

1 : to make less or cause to appear less diminish an army's strength His role in the company was diminished.
2 : to lessen the authority, dignity, or reputation of : belittle diminish a rival's accomplishments
3 architecture : to cause to taper (see taper entry 1 sense 1) a diminished column

intransitive verb

1 : to become gradually less (as in size or importance) : dwindle the side effects tend to diminish over time
2 architecture : taper

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Other Words from diminish

diminishable \ də-​ˈmi-​ni-​shə-​bəl How to pronounce diminish (audio) \ adjective
diminishment \ də-​ˈmi-​nish-​mənt How to pronounce diminish (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for diminish

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 diminish in a Sentence

The strength of the army was greatly diminished by outbreaks of disease. The drug's side effects should diminish over time. Nothing could diminish the importance of his contributions.
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Recent Examples on the Web Hyaluronic acid boosts hydration and peptides stimulate collagen production which will diminish fine lines. Nicole Saunders, NBC News, "9 best vitamin C serums to fade dark spots and discoloration," 5 Apr. 2021 Story turns 29 in November and is the oldest of the pending free agent shortstops, which ostensibly could diminish his value. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "The $1 billion quintet: Breaking down MLB's epic free agent shortstop class," 29 Mar. 2021 But independent labels and artists worry that the returns for relying on Spotify will quickly diminish. Ron Knox, Wired, "Big Music Needs to Be Broken Up to Save the Industry," 16 Mar. 2021 Cool air and an unstable, low pressure atmosphere means the chance for showers is expected to continue overnight and Monday, but the threat of showers will diminish from Portland moving south. oregonlive, "Portland metro Sunday weather: Rain; chance of snow mixing overnight," 14 Mar. 2021 Waiting too long can diminish the agency's relevance on this kind of matter, said Wen, who believes CDC should have had some kind of guidance in place for vaccinated people back in January. Carla K. Johnson, Star Tribune, "Americans vaccinated against COVID-19 still wait for advice," 5 Mar. 2021 There wasn’t a lot of sunshine over the weekend, but temperatures were fairly typical for this time of the year, and those of you with snow cover in your backyard saw a little more of it diminish. Dave Epstein, BostonGlobe.com, "Meteorological spring has arrived — but it will feel like winter for much of this week," 28 Feb. 2021 And Jean, for the moment, is hoping the infection risk will diminish soon, so her son can get a safe job. New York Times, "For Some Teens, It’s Been a Year of Anxiety and Trips to the E.R.," 23 Feb. 2021 Neighbors are said to be unhappy with the decision, with one local charging in a letter sent by his attorney that Trump's presence will diminish property values in the area. Katherine Doyle, Washington Examiner, "Trump to depart White House for Mar-a-Lago on inauguration morning," 15 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'diminish.' 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 diminish

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for diminish

Middle English deminishen, alteration of diminuen, from Anglo-French diminuer, from Late Latin diminuere, alteration of Latin deminuere, from de- + minuere to lessen — more at minor

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Time Traveler for diminish

Time Traveler

The first known use of diminish was in the 15th century

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Statistics for diminish

Last Updated

13 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Diminish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diminish. Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for diminish



English Language Learners Definition of diminish

: to become or to cause (something) to become less in size, importance, etc.
: to lessen the authority or reputation of (someone or something) : to describe (something) as having little value or importance


di·​min·​ish | \ də-ˈmi-nish How to pronounce diminish (audio) \
diminished; diminishing

Kids Definition of diminish

1 : to make less or cause to seem less … he didn't want to diminish any chance he might have of being found.— Gary Paulsen, Hatchet
2 : belittle
3 : to become gradually less or smaller The number of wild birds is diminishing.

Other Words from diminish

diminishment \ -​mənt \ noun

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Comments on diminish

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