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

But those inventories of crude oil have been dwindling, McNally said in a note to clients. Washington Post, "Iran dismisses allegations it carried out crippling attack on Saudi oil facilities," 15 Sep. 2019 Within a few years, the aquarium confronted complaints of dwindling attendance, crowded rooms, lousy food and boring exhibits. Los Angeles Times, "The longtime leader of the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach is stepping down," 6 Sep. 2019 The species’ population in New York and the Northeast has reportedly been dwindling for years. USA TODAY, "Tubing, Hemingway, great white sharks: News from around our 50 states," 21 July 2019 Growth also has people worried about dwindling green spaces in an expanding metropolis and rising buildings blocking out mountain views. John Aguilar, The Denver Post, "Developers on Lakewood’s anti-growth vote: “Uncertainty is never a businessperson’s friend”," 4 July 2019 Funded by dwindling private donations, the shelter provides only one or two meals a day, administrators said, usually just rice and beans. Dudley Althaus, ExpressNews.com, "Migration slows in Mexico. But will it last?," 23 June 2019 The audience for the USWNT’s second group stage game, a 3-0 win over Chile on Sunday afternoon, erased any doubts Fox executives had about dwindling stateside soccer enthusiasm. Laine Higgins, WSJ, "Women’s World Cup TV Viewership Is on a Record Pace," 22 June 2019 With the reservoirs dwindling, Chennai residents are being forced to find water. Paul P. Murphy, CNN, "Chennai, India, is almost out of water. Satellite images show its nearly bone-dry reservoirs," 20 June 2019 Since ovulation, or the release of the egg, triggers periods, once the eggs dwindle, menstruation spaces out and then stops completely. Korin Miller, Health.com, "When Does Menopause Start—And How Long Does it Last?," 17 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for dwindle

Last Updated

15 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for dwindle

The first known use of dwindle was in 1596

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on dwindle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dwindle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dwindle

Spanish Central: Translation of dwindle

Nglish: Translation of dwindle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dwindle for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dwindle

What made you want to look up dwindle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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