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 diminish (audio) \ adjective
diminishment \ də-​ˈmi-​nish-​mənt How to pronounce diminish (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 None of this is to diminish Rorty’s philosophic contributions, which remain provocative and engaging. Chris Lehmann, The New Republic, 18 Aug. 2021 But if demand were to further diminish and half that pace, the state would reach Biden’s goal by Sept. 18. Ryan Gillespie, orlandosentinel.com, 18 June 2021 For techno-optimists, the point of AI is not to diminish humans but to liberate them: to automate activities which steal time away from humans – time which would be better spent creating, imagining, and playing. Calum Chace, Forbes, 13 May 2021 To create a potentially large new class of cases in which it cannot be relied upon is to greatly diminish religious freedom in our country. Jerry Bowyer, National Review, 5 May 2021 This is not to diminish the dynamism and range present in his oeuvre of soaring anthems so much as to say that a Steinman track starts in caps lock and usually builds to CAPS LOCK BOLD, ITALIC, UNDERLINED, or ALL THREE. Tres Dean, Vulture, 29 Apr. 2021 As Apple executives have said in the past, the S naming scheme can sometimes diminish an otherwise compelling iPhone release. Yoni Heisler, BGR, 24 Aug. 2021 But none of these excuses diminish the Biden team’s complicity in turning the Afghan withdrawal into a reprise of Saigon in 1975. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 23 Aug. 2021 And while the number of tickets available was reportedly reduced to diminish crowd size, the level of enthusiasm felt as big as ever. Viju Mathew, Robb Report, 14 Aug. 2021

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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Last Updated

16 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Diminish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diminish. Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for diminish



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


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

More from Merriam-Webster on diminish

Nglish: Translation of diminish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of diminish for Arabic Speakers


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