diminishing returns

plural noun

: a rate of yield that beyond a certain point fails to increase in proportion to additional investments of labor or capital
: benefits that beyond a certain point fail to increase in proportion to extended efforts

Examples of diminishing returns in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web After the departure of Brigati and Cornish in the early 1970s, Danelli and Cavaliere carried on and released two more albums to diminishing returns before breaking up in 1971. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 16 Dec. 2022 After all, once the fish has been thriving on land for four seasons, the fish-out-of-water plots yield diminishing returns. Joshua Alston, Variety, 26 Sep. 2022 Marketers may have gotten used to the idea of diminishing returns. Kris Persons, Forbes, 20 Dec. 2022 Xi's push to maintain zero COVID cases has kept China's death toll lower than in other large countries, but international public health officials see diminishing returns as the virus mutates and becomes more contagious. Peter Weber, The Week, 29 Nov. 2022 See all Example Sentences for diminishing returns 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'diminishing returns.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1815, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of diminishing returns was in 1815

Dictionary Entries Near diminishing returns

Cite this Entry

“Diminishing returns.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diminishing%20returns. Accessed 13 Jul. 2024.

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