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 Black Americans already face systemic barriers to economic advancement, barriers that both diminish individual opportunity and hurt our economy overall. Michael Linden For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Trump's budget will wreak havoc on the American economy," 20 Feb. 2020 Even as Wittes is diminishing the horrors of the Holocaust for political gain with his bumbling analogies, a bunch of high-profile Americans were speaking out about Trump actions. David Harsanyi, National Review, "Being Fired by Trump Does Not Make You a Holocaust Victim," 10 Feb. 2020 Allison has just returned to the office from back surgery that fused his L3, L4, and L5 vertebrae, which has slightly diminished his Texas rambunctiousness. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Health," 1 Feb. 2020 While the number of striking workers has diminished since the movement, the country's trains and the Paris subway were still disrupted Friday. NBC News, "Art lovers locked out of Louvre as staff join pension strikes in Paris," 17 Jan. 2020 PhRMA had kept up its opposition to the package throughout 2018, first keeping it out of the budget deal and working to convince lawmakers to attach amendments that would effectively have diminished its effect. Nicholas Florko, STAT, "Washington took a decade to approve an obscure drug-pricing bill. That’s a bad omen for more ambitious reforms," 7 Jan. 2020 The result is even more thrilling because the quality hasn’t diminished at all. David Sims, The Atlantic, "What It Means to Stage To Kill a Mockingbird in 2019," 17 Dec. 2019 The impact of the strike called by the United Food and Commercial Workers union is diminishing. Stephen Singer, courant.com, "Stop & Shop parent company: Impact of April strike still stings as some customers who drifted to competitors stayed away," 6 Nov. 2019 The National Institutes of Health warns that older adults are vulnerable to hypothermia because their bodies’ response to cold can be diminished. Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati.com, "Will the Ohio River freeze again? Why is the river steaming?," 4 Nov. 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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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

28 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Diminish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diminish. Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for diminish

diminish

verb
How to pronounce diminish (audio)

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
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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