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

Most of the 180 cities and townships fall into the category of beneficiaries, meaning their tax bases are expanded rather than diminished by the pool. Peter Krouse, cleveland.com, "Twin Cities tax sharing creates winners and losers - or maybe everybody wins: Cleveland 2030, A Way Forward," 17 Sep. 2019 Specks of grey in his beard aside, Duncan appeared nearly identical to his mid-2000s self, albeit diminished offensively after 11 straight playoff appearances from 1998-2012. Michael Shapiro, SI.com, "SI's NBA All-Decade Team: Second Team," 17 Sep. 2019 Sage grouse once numbered in the millions but have seen their range that stretches across portions of 11 states diminished by oil and gas drilling, wildfires, grazing and other pressures. USA TODAY, "Fugitive pig, proverb library, sodium warnings: News from around our 50 states," 16 Sep. 2019 The top Portland executive at New Relic quit Monday amid an executive shakeup and diminished outlook for one of the city’s largest technology employers. Mike Rogoway, oregonlive, "New Relic’s top Portland exec quits as outlook cools again," 16 Sep. 2019 Sage grouse once numbered in the millions but have seen their range that stretches across portions of 11 states diminished by oil and gas drilling, wildfires, grazing and other pressures. Washington Post, "Sage grouse numbers stumble in Montana, across US West," 12 Sep. 2019 Adam Kolarek relieved Ryu and secured the final out before further damage was inflicted, but the Dodgers’ hopes of a comeback, always high for a club wielding one of the sport’s best offenses, diminished in the sixth inning. Los Angeles Times, "Hyun-Jin Ryu runs into big problems again as Dodgers fall to Diamondbacks," 29 Aug. 2019 With big western cities clamoring for a share of the river’s diminishing supply, desert farmers with valuable claims are making multimillion dollar deals in a bid to delay the inevitable. The Washington Post, The Denver Post, "Trading water for cash along the Colorado River," 20 Aug. 2019 Engineers and academics are starting to talk about ways to diminish the river’s flow safely in the future—by creating new reservoirs upstream, or perhaps restoring wetlands. The Economist, "A new threat to New Orleans," 26 July 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

10 Oct 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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