diminish

verb
di·​min·​ish | \də-ˈmi-nish \

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 \ -​ni-​shə-​bəl \ adjective
diminishment \ -​mənt \ 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

Walsh noted that Ray’s decision followed successful re-election campaigns, when the consequences of a political backlash were diminished. Washington Post, "Former Iowa Gov. Ray’s legacy contrasts with modern GOP," 13 July 2018 The return on the investment is diminished by having two venues in the same town, Brand said. Grace Schneider, The Courier-Journal, "Pizza Hut, Kroger, Republic Bank? Who wants Cardinal Stadium naming rights," 13 July 2018 Big Agnes’ marketing material will often reference the Tiger Wall’s trail weight, but this is not a practical weight, since its performance is greatly diminished if the rear corners and vestibules are not tensioned. Andrew Skurka, Outside Online, "Review: Big Agnes Tiger Wall Tents," 28 June 2018 The appeal of passing costs on to consumers is diminished if not downright risky as cable subscribers weigh whether to cut the cord. Phil Rosenthal, chicagotribune.com, "With Disney and Comcast willing to discard Fox's RSNs, Cubs must wonder value of channel," 26 June 2018 By contrast the power of parliament will be diminished and the role of prime minister abolished. Billy Perrigo, Time, "What Erdogan’s Election Victory Means For Turkey’s Future," 25 June 2018 But with the value of the Turkish lira in free fall and with food prices rocketing, Mr. Erdogan’s reputation as the guardian of the economy is much diminished. New York Times, "Turkey’s Election: What to Watch For," 24 June 2018 Yet the love for his work can’t (and shouldn’t) be diminished. Mark Holgate, Vogue, "Helmut Lang Is Still Hugely Influential - And One Man Has The Most Incredible Archive Of His Designs," 15 June 2018 That means the threat of $3 a gallon gasoline is diminished, at least for now, said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. Katherine Blunt, Houston Chronicle, "Gasoline prices continue to rise in Houston, but relief is in sight," 29 May 2018

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

24 Oct 2018

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 \
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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Comments on diminish

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