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

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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 For more than a decade, Democrats have watched their ranks in farm communities dwindle. Thomas Beaumont, ajc, 1 June 2021 For more than a decade, Democrats have watched their ranks in farm communities dwindle. Thomas Beaumont, Star Tribune, 1 June 2021 As coronavirus cases dwindle and the U.S. continues to reopen from pandemic shutdowns, mass shootings have accelerated compared to 2020 when stay-at-home orders were in place. Jessica Flores, San Francisco Chronicle, 27 May 2021 In the meantime, however, filling stations from Virginia to Florida have sold out of gasoline, as supplies dwindle and panic buying sets in. Fortune, 11 May 2021 Several adjustments had been made over the past decade to try to boost diversity at the prestigious magnet school, which has been predominantly Asian for many years, while its Black and Hispanic student populations continue to dwindle. Annie Vainshtein, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 Feb. 2021 The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program loan funding continues to dwindle as time runs out for new applications. cleveland, 24 May 2021 The monarch butterfly is an example of a greatest-needs animal whose numbers continue to dwindle to what many would call a crisis level but are without federal or Wisconsin state protections. Jennifer Rude Klett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8 Apr. 2021 As options continue to dwindle, the 49ers have showed their hand. Vincent Frank, Forbes, 19 Mar. 2021

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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Last Updated

17 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dwindle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dwindle. Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for dwindle



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

More from Merriam-Webster on dwindle

Nglish: Translation of dwindle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dwindle for Arabic Speakers


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