diminution was our Word of the Day on 02/18/2009. Hear the podcast!
Examples of diminution in a sentence
a diminution of 60 percent over the course of the month
Did You Know?
We find "diminution" in print for the first time in Geoffrey Chaucer's poetical work "Troilus and Criseyde." Chaucer used "make diminution" in contrast to the verb "increase" (he could have used the verb "decrease," but he needed to create a weak rhyme with "discretion"). "Diminution" came to English by way of Anglo-French from Latin. Its Latin ancestor deminuere ("to diminish") is also an ancestor of "diminishment," a synonym of "diminution" that English speakers have been using since the 16th century.
Origin and Etymology of diminution
Middle English diminucioun, from Anglo-French diminutiun, from Medieval Latin diminution-, diminutio, alteration of Latin deminution-, deminutio, from deminuere —see diminish
First Known Use: 14th century
DIMINUTION Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of diminution for English Language Learners
: the act or process of becoming less
Legal Definition of diminution
: the act, process, or an instance of making less diminution of access to health care — U.S. Code
Seen and Heard
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