diminish

verb
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 diminishable (audio) \ adjective
diminishment \ də-​ˈmi-​nish-​mənt How to pronounce diminishment (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

Men seem to be less affected by space motion sickness but quicker to experience diminished hearing. National Geographic, "Here’s why women may be the best suited for spaceflight," 17 June 2019 The command had been dissolved eight years earlier, when the Russian threat appeared diminished. Thomas Grove, WSJ, "U.S., NATO Moves in Baltics Raise Russian Fears," 14 June 2019 The report claims that the inefficient overtime pay system not only costs taxpayers millions but also diminishes the police work. Fox News, "Oakland cops collected $30M in overtime pay last year; one officer logged 2,600 OT hours," 13 June 2019 Even the pop star is a diminishing force; in the churn of online virality, enduring icons are few and far between. Carrie Battan, The New Yorker, "How “Songland” Tries and Fails to Honor the Songwriter," 11 June 2019 These distractions have been dismissed or diminished as garden-variety pitfalls and random, isolated incidents. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "Warriors have carried a heavy load from the very start of this season," 9 June 2019 Profits are dwindling as generic competition emerges, diminishing financial incentives for further research into Enbrel and other drugs in its class. Author: Christopher Rowland, Anchorage Daily News, "Pfizer had clues its blockbuster drug could prevent Alzheimer’s. Why didn’t it tell the world?," 5 June 2019 That same year Norton Simon was acquired by Esmark, in the first of several changeovers, each of which saw Halston’s role diminished. Vogue, "Watch an Exclusive Clip of Halston Before Its Sundance Premiere—And Read What the Director and Producer Say About Its Making," 23 Jan. 2019 As a byproduct of the progestin's effect on your uterine lining, your period might diminish or disappear. Korin Miller, SELF, "How to Stop Your Period With Birth Control," 16 Jan. 2019

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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Statistics for diminish

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for diminish

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

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More Definitions for diminish

diminish

verb

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

diminish

verb
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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More from Merriam-Webster on diminish

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with diminish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for diminish

Spanish Central: Translation of diminish

Nglish: Translation of diminish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of diminish for Arabic Speakers

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