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 All black-footed ferrets alive today are the genetic descendants of just seven animals out of a group of 18 taken from that Wyoming ranch when the colony’s numbers started to dwindle. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Elizabeth Ann Is the First Cloned Black-Footed Ferret," 22 Feb. 2021 The belief that a nation must serve its citizens will not dwindle but instead only grow stronger by the day. Michael Lee, Washington Examiner, "CNN's Acosta says Trump will lead 'fringe movement' and is a 'threat' to US," 25 Jan. 2021 But without a Black woman chosen to succeed Harris, the number of Black women in the Senate would dwindle back to zero. Los Angeles Times, "Essential California: Meet your new senator," 23 Dec. 2020 Because the narrower approach would unblind and vaccinate only those eligible, the number of people in the placebo group would dwindle more slowly, allowing for longer comparisons of the two arms. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "Makers of successful COVID-19 vaccine wrestle with options for many thousands who received placebos," 22 Dec. 2020 While the volume of gifts being sent via mail is expected to beat past records this year, the amount that people are spending on those presents is projected to dwindle from prior years, according to the Morning Consult. Jay Heflin, Washington Examiner, "Package delivery carriers urge shoppers to mail holiday gifts early to avoid delays," 19 Nov. 2020 And it is expected to dwindle further through Thursday night until its remnants cross into the Gulf of Honduras and travel toward the Caribbean Sea, according to CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "Tropical Depression Eta has more flooding in store for Central America before it heads toward the US," 5 Nov. 2020 That number is certain to dwindle further in the coming days and weeks as other bowl groups determine the risks/rewards for playing a game this year. San Diego Union-Tribune, "SDCCU Holiday Bowl will not be played this year," 22 Oct. 2020 Utah has been allocated fewer doses per capita than all other states, an analysis by The Tribune showed, and supply could further dwindle. Erin Alberty, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Exclusive: Utah declines to disclose when vaccines arrive or who gets them, while pharmacies dispute doses are ‘sitting on shelves’," 24 Jan. 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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Statistics for dwindle

Last Updated

1 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dwindle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dwindle. Accessed 6 Mar. 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

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