reduce

verb
re·​duce | \ ri-ˈdüs How to pronounce reduce (audio) , -ˈdyüs\
reduced; reducing

Definition of reduce

transitive verb

1a : to draw together or cause to converge : consolidate reduce all the questions to one
b(1) : to diminish in size, amount, extent, or number reduce taxes reduce the likelihood of war
(2) : to decrease the volume and concentrate the flavor of by boiling add the wine and reduce the sauce for two minutes
c : to narrow down : restrict the Indians were reduced to small reservations
d : to make shorter : abridge
2 archaic : to restore to righteousness : save
3 : to bring to a specified state or condition the impact of the movie reduced them to tears
4a : to force to capitulate
b : force, compel
5a : to bring to a systematic form or character reduce natural events to laws
b : to put down in written or printed form reduce an agreement to writing
6 : to correct (a fracture) by bringing displaced or broken parts back into their normal positions
7a : to lower in grade or rank : demote
b : to lower in condition or status : downgrade
8a : to diminish in strength or density
b : to diminish in value
9a(1) : to change the denominations or form of without changing the value
(2) : to construct a geometrical figure similar to but smaller than (a given figure)
b : to transpose from one form into another : convert
c : to change (an expression) to an equivalent but more fundamental expression reduce a fraction
10 : to break down (as by crushing or grinding) : pulverize
11a : to bring to the metallic state by removal of nonmetallic elements reduce an ore by heat
b : deoxidize
c : to combine with or subject to the action of hydrogen
d(1) : to change (an element or ion) from a higher to a lower oxidation state
(2) : to add one or more electrons to (an atom or ion or molecule)
12 : to change (a stressed vowel) to an unstressed vowel

intransitive verb

1a(1) : to become diminished or lessened especially : to lose weight by dieting
(2) : to become reduced ferric iron reduces to ferrous iron
b : to become concentrated or consolidated
c : to undergo meiosis
2 : to become converted or equated

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Other Words from reduce

reducer noun
reducibility \ ri-​ˌdü-​sə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce reducibility (audio) , -​ˌdyü-​ \ noun
reducible \ ri-​ˈdü-​sə-​bəl How to pronounce reducible (audio) , -​ˈdyü-​ \ adjective
reducibly \ ri-​ˈdü-​sə-​blē How to pronounce reducibly (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for reduce

Synonyms

break, bust, degrade, demote, disrate, downgrade

Antonyms

advance, elevate, promote, raise

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Choose the Right Synonym for reduce

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

conquer, vanquish, defeat, subdue, reduce, overcome, overthrow mean to get the better of by force or strategy. conquer implies gaining mastery of. Caesar conquered Gaul vanquish implies a complete overpowering. vanquished the enemy and ended the war defeat does not imply the finality or completeness of vanquish which it otherwise equals. the Confederates defeated the Union forces at Manassas subdue implies a defeating and suppression. subdued the native tribes after years of fighting reduce implies a forcing to capitulate or surrender. the city was reduced after a month-long siege overcome suggests getting the better of with difficulty or after hard struggle. overcame a host of bureaucratic roadblocks overthrow stresses the bringing down or destruction of existing power. violently overthrew the old regime

Examples of reduce in a Sentence

The medicine reduces the risk of infection. We are trying to reduce our debt. Stricter speed limit enforcement has reduced the number of car accidents. Her prison sentence was reduced from 15 years to 10.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The Green New Deal is perhaps most famous for its goal of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. to zero within a decade. James Freeman, WSJ, "The AOC Primary," 26 Feb. 2019 Acer also reduced the Swift 7 display bezels to just 2.57 mm, and now the display nearly fills the physical screen with a screen-to-body ratio of 92 percent. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Acer's new Swift 7 ultra-thin PC is even smaller, but adds Thunderbolt, Amber Lake and a clickpad," 6 Jan. 2019 At its height the firm had some 300 employees, with that headcount reduced to 261 per recent accounts. James Vincent, The Verge, "Hyped AR startup Blippar crashes into financial reality," 18 Dec. 2018 The Duke works to reduce stigma around mental health as part of The Royal Foundation @heads_together campaign. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince William Describes "Fear of Having a Newborn" & Kate Middleton Says She Was a "Naive" Parent," 16 Feb. 2019 Holding hands has been proven to actually reduce stress and help the brain respond to threats. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Why Do Couples Hold Hands?," 4 Jan. 2019 For the face, there’s a citrus cleansing toner, designed to reduce inflammation without disrupting the natural pH; a serum that blends rose hip, jojoba, and other nourishing oils; and a floral hydrosol mist. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "Meet the Eckhaus Latta–Approved Herbalist With a Prescription for Balanced Skin and Less Stress," 4 Jan. 2019 Again, the goal is to significantly reduce power while playing back video. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Meet Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855: AI boosts, a smarter camera, mobile gaming—and bye-bye, JPEG," 5 Dec. 2018 Haq noted that Guterres has urged the U.S. and Russia to resolve their dispute over the INF, to extend the New START treaty and to take new steps to reduce nuclear stockpiles. Fox News, "Treaty exits and extensions top Trump adviser's Moscow talks," 23 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reduce.' 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 reduce

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for reduce

Middle English, to lead back, from Latin reducere, from re- + ducere to lead — more at tow entry 1

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Statistics for reduce

Last Updated

11 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reduce

The first known use of reduce was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for reduce

reduce

verb

English Language Learners Definition of reduce

: to make (something) smaller in size, amount, number, etc.
: to cause (someone) to be in a specified state or condition
: to cause (something) to be in a specified form by breaking it, burning it, etc.

reduce

verb
re·​duce | \ ri-ˈdüs How to pronounce reduce (audio) , -ˈdyüs\
reduced; reducing

Kids Definition of reduce

1 : to make smaller or less reduce expenses Reduce your speed ahead.
2 : to bring to a usually worse state The story reduced them to tears.
3 : to lower in grade or rank
4 : to change to a simpler form Reduce a fraction to its lowest terms.
5 : to lose weight by dieting

reduce

verb
re·​duce | \ ri-ˈd(y)üs How to pronounce reduce (audio) \
reduced; reducing

Medical Definition of reduce

transitive verb

1 : to correct (as a fracture or a herniated mass) by bringing displaced or broken parts back into their normal positions
2a : to bring to the metallic state by removal of nonmetallic elements reduce an ore by heat
b : deoxidize
c : to combine with or subject to the action of hydrogen
d(1) : to change (an element or ion) from a higher to a lower oxidation state
(2) : to add one or more electrons to (an atom or ion or molecule)

intransitive verb

1 : to become diminished or lessened especially : to lose weight by dieting
2 : to become reduced ferrous iron reduces to ferric iron
3 : to undergo meiosis

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re·​duce | \ ri-ˈdüs, -ˈdyüs How to pronounce reduce (audio) \
reduced; reducing

Legal Definition of reduce

1 : to make smaller
2a : to convert (a chose in action) into a chose in possession enforcement action sought to reduce to possession her property interest in the…determination of money damagesHaynes v. Contat, 643 N.E.2d 941 (1994)
b : to convert by enforcement through litigation may reduce a claim to judgment, foreclose, or otherwise enforce the claimUniform Commercial Code
reduce to practice
: to cause to undergo reduction to practice

Other Words from reduce

reducibility \ -​ˌdü-​sə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē, -​ˌdyü-​ How to pronounce reducibility (audio) \ noun
reducible \ -​ˈdü-​sə-​bəl, -​ˈdyü-​ How to pronounce reducible (audio) \ adjective
reducibly adverb
reduction \ ri-​ˈdək-​shən How to pronounce reduction (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on reduce

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for reduce

Spanish Central: Translation of reduce

Nglish: Translation of reduce for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reduce for Arabic Speakers

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