dwindle

verb dwin·dle \ ˈdwin-dᵊl \
Updated on: 12 Nov 2017

Definition of dwindle

dwindled; dwindling play \-(d)liŋ, -dᵊl-iŋ\
intransitive verb
: to become steadily less : shrink
  • Their savings dwindled to nothing.
  • a dwindling population
transitive verb
: 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.

Recent Examples of dwindle from the Web

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.

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

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

verb

Definition of dwindle for English Language Learners

  • : to gradually become smaller


DWINDLE Defined for Kids

dwindle

verb dwin·dle \ ˈdwin-dəl \

Definition of dwindle for Students

dwindled; dwindling
: 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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