dwindle

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

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 If that trend continues, the number of teams allowed to participate could dwindle. Matthew Vantryon, The Indianapolis Star, 9 Aug. 2022 Tonight: An evening chance for showers and storms may extend closer to midnight but any rain activity should dwindle in intensity and coverage before then. A. Camden Walker, Washington Post, 6 Aug. 2022 But for the fans in red, including those who stood the entire game in the southwest corner of the stadium, the energy didn’t dwindle. Andy Kostka, Baltimore Sun, 16 July 2022 Having two major holidays back-to-back is great, but stock will inevitably dwindle on the most popular items. Rachel Klein, Popular Mechanics, 28 June 2022 Your internal and external support base may dwindle. Nancy A Shenker, Rolling Stone, 21 June 2022 Crossing Main Street to the east, bike lanes dwindle. Joseph De Avila, WSJ, 19 June 2022 Looking Forward Despite increasing interest rates and potentially higher mortgage payments, housing demand may not dwindle to the maximum extent. Reza Ghazi, Forbes, 15 June 2022 An initial round of vaccine doses seems to at least modestly trim the likelihood of coming down with the condition, and the risk may dwindle further as defenses continue to amass. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 27 May 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About dwindle

Time Traveler for dwindle

Time Traveler

The first known use of dwindle was in 1596

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near dwindle

Dwight-Lloyd

dwindle

dwine

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for dwindle

Last Updated

16 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dwindle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dwindle. Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for dwindle

dwindle

verb
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

More from Merriam-Webster on dwindle

Nglish: Translation of dwindle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dwindle for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!