dwindle

play
verb dwin·dle \ˈdwin-dəl\

Definition of dwindle

dwindled

dwindling

play \-(d)liŋ, -dəl-iŋ\
  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to become steadily less :  shrink

  3. transitive verb
  4. :  to make steadily less

Examples of dwindle in a sentence

  1. Our energy dwindled as the meeting dragged on.

  2. The town's population is dwindling away.

Origin and Etymology of 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


First Known Use: 1596

Synonym Discussion of 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>.

DWINDLE Defined for English Language Learners

dwindle

play
verb dwin·dle \ˈdwin-dəl\

Definition of dwindle for English Language Learners

  • : to gradually become smaller


DWINDLE Defined for Kids

dwindle

play
verb dwin·dle \ˈdwin-dəl\

Definition of dwindle for Students

dwindled

dwindling

  1. :  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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