diminishing returns

plural noun

Definition of diminishing returns

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

Examples of diminishing returns in a Sentence

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Yet where winning teams—like the Raptors—are concerned, there are diminishing returns to what Valančiūnas can offer beyond 20 minutes or so. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "Top 100 NBA Players of 2020," 12 Sep. 2019 Carl Fields, a member of the Racine Interfaith Coalition and EXPO described the current law as one of diminishing returns, because ex-offenders' chances of recidivism decline with time. Talis Shelbourne, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Unlock the Vote campaign seeks to restore ex-offenders' voting rights," 5 Sep. 2019 Dreams of a dynasty spurred by its 2016 title have given way to diminishing returns and shorter postseason trips. Jon Tayler, SI.com, "Inconsistent Cubs Need Uninterrupted Success Soon to Avoid Disappointing Finish," 5 Sep. 2019 This policy is yielding diminishing returns and, beyond a point, these pillars are not compatible with each other. Johann Chacko, Quartz India, "Like Pakistan, India may soon face the catastrophic costs of steroid-driven nationalism," 3 Sep. 2019 If the law of diminishing returns applied to American politics, the resignation of the vice-chair of the Federal Election Commission (F.E.C.), Matthew Petersen, on Monday, would be a single data point on the downslope of democracy. Sue Halpern, The New Yorker, "Filling the Empty Seats at the F.E.C. Won’t Fix America’s Corrupt Elections," 29 Aug. 2019 Measurements of just one of the environment photons revealed a lot of the available information about the system photon’s polarization, and measuring an increasing fraction of the environment photons provided diminishing returns. Philip Ball, WIRED, "Quantum Darwinism Could Explain What Makes Reality Real," 28 July 2019 Measurements of just one of the environment photons revealed a lot of the available information about the system photon’s polarization, and measuring an increasing fraction of the environment photons provided diminishing returns. Philip Ball, WIRED, "Quantum Darwinism Could Explain What Makes Reality Real," 28 July 2019 Yet, there are limits and diminishing returns from rate reductions. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Econometer: Should the Fed lower rates?," 27 July 2019

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

1815, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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28 Sep 2019

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The first known use of diminishing returns was in 1815

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