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 The speed with which the wines-and-spirits stock in Schumpeter’s drinks cupboard has dwindled in recent weeks proves that drinking is not just a way to celebrate good times but to endure bad ones. The Economist, "Schumpeter Farewell for now to a golden age of drinking," 23 May 2020 Along with preserving one’s dwindling sanity, not cooking is an opportunity to resurrect vegetables from previous meals and explore their potential as toast toppers. Carla Lalli Music, Bon Appétit, "The Do-Nothing Dinner I Make at Least Once a Week," 21 May 2020 Expect calls for unity to increase if and when the national mood shifts and support for the government dwindles. Helen Lewis, The Atlantic, "Crises Are No Time for Political Unity," 20 May 2020 Triple Crown fields that typically dwindle post-Derby figure to be fuller given the more generous spacing, and filled by fresher horses. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "The coronavirus threw a 'knuckleball,' but the Triple Crown is still where history happens," 20 May 2020 With few options to send their cattle for slaughter, farmers are now watching prices for their cattle dwindle as costs to care for them balloon. USA Today, "‘Cows will need bred’: Coronavirus is hitting the meat industry all the way up to animal breeders," 18 May 2020 Since 1999, records show the state has spent about $7.3 million on cleanup efforts at the site, though spending has dwindled during the past several years. Ian James, azcentral, "Arizona awaits EPA decision on adding toxic Phoenix site to Superfund list," 14 May 2020 With dwindling revenues, cities and states have bigger obligations. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Global markets sink on fears of a choppy recovery and second-wave outbreaks," 13 May 2020 There was hope that the season could continue at some point, but with every domino in the sports world falling, that hope dwindled daily. Shelby Dermer, Cincinnati.com, "'I sat in the dugout and cried': Oak Hills' pitcher Kayla Roddy denied of comeback season," 13 May 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

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dwindle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dwindle. Accessed 7 Jun. 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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