dwin·​dle | \ ˈdwin-dᵊl How to pronounce dwindle (audio) \
dwindled; dwindling\ ˈdwin-​(d)liŋ How to pronounce dwindling (audio) , -​dᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of dwindle

intransitive verb

: to become steadily less : shrink Their savings dwindled to nothing. a dwindling population

transitive verb

: to make steadily less

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Choose the Right Synonym for dwindle

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 dwindle in a Sentence

Our energy dwindled as the meeting dragged on. The town's population is dwindling away.
Recent Examples on the Web Chaotic markets can cancel years’ worth of gains in days, but expenses don’t dwindle when profits disappear. Jason Zweig, WSJ, "Invest With the Upper Crust and Sometimes You Just Get Crumbs," 19 June 2020 Finding better ways to manage zoo populations will be important should the birds continue to dwindle. Virginia Morell, National Geographic, "Pinker flamingos are more aggressive, intriguing study finds," 9 June 2020 Decades of right-wing attacks have understandably made these unions bristle at anything that might dwindle membership. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "Reactionary Unions Don’t Just Back Police. They Also Back Fossil Fuels.," 11 June 2020 For eco-pessimists, Easter Island foreshadows the destiny of the Earth: as its population grows and resources dwindle, humans may annihilate each other. The Economist, "Hearts of gold Are humans essentially good? Rutger Bregman thinks so," 6 June 2020 No advance notice, and dwindling options for some loyal customers to get home. Kate Knibbs, Wired, "Curfews Halt Transit Services—and Leave Riders Stranded," 4 June 2020 More than $120 billion of relief loans remain available to help support businesses, and some lenders believe demand for the loans, currently dwindling, could be rekindled now that the forgiveness rules have been relaxed. Nihal Krishan, Washington Examiner, "Senate passes legislation making it easier for small businesses to use pandemic relief program," 3 June 2020 Less than 40 seconds remained and Indiana was tied at 53 with Nebraska on Feb. 9 — a game in which Indiana had let a 25-point lead dwindle away — and Berger dribbled at the top of the key. Stefan Krajisnik, Indianapolis Star, "IU women's basketball: Grace Berger tweaks her game to a new level," 30 Apr. 2020 Many states are seeing their revenue sources dwindle because of the coronavirus, which led most governors to issue mandatory-stay-at-home orders and businesses to shutter. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, "State bailouts and federal spending: Which states give, and which receive?," 30 Apr. 2020

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

1596, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for dwindle

probably frequentative of dwine to waste away, from Middle English, from Old English dwīnan; akin to Old Norse dvīna to pine away, deyja to die — more at die

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Time Traveler for dwindle

Time Traveler

The first known use of dwindle was in 1596

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Statistics for dwindle

Last Updated

28 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dwindle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dwindle. Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for dwindle


How to pronounce dwindle (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dwindle

: to gradually become smaller


dwin·​dle | \ ˈdwin-dəl How to pronounce dwindle (audio) \
dwindled; dwindling

Kids Definition of dwindle

: to make or become less or smaller … she had suddenly dwindled down to the size of a little doll …— Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

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More from Merriam-Webster on dwindle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dwindle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dwindle

Spanish Central: Translation of dwindle

Nglish: Translation of dwindle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dwindle for Arabic Speakers

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