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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from reduce

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for reduce

Synonyms

Antonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Working in a highly stressful profession, his job is to reduce anxiety and help create goodwill between the police and the public. Bob Chiarito, chicagotribune.com, 20 July 2021 Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. New York Times, 20 July 2021 The pediatricians group noted that universal masking is proven to reduce transmission of the virus and protect those who aren’t vaccinated. BostonGlobe.com, 20 July 2021 The main goal for the VW settlement is to reduce diesel emissions and replace them with cleaner sources, and that’s what EVs do. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, 20 July 2021 The Tigers are also limiting starter Casey Mize's innings, an ongoing strategy to reduce risk and keep him in the rotation all season. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, 20 July 2021 The agency recommends staying away from local sources of air pollution like busy roads and wood fires, avoid backyard fires, reduce vehicle trips and postpone the use of gasoline powered lawn and garden equipment. Alex Chhith, Star Tribune, 19 July 2021 The Biden administration wants to reduce the number of detainees and ultimately close the detention center. Vivian Salama, WSJ, 19 July 2021 The green approach aims to reduce the environmental impact of burial and, in some cases, uses remains to repair the destruction humans have inflicted on the earth. Washington Post, 19 July 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About reduce

Time Traveler for reduce

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near reduce

redub

reduce

reduceable

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for reduce

Last Updated

23 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reduce.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reduce. Accessed 30 Jul. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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 ferric iron reduces to ferrous iron
3 : to undergo meiosis

Keep scrolling for more

reduce

transitive verb
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 reduce (audio) \ noun
reducible \ -​ˈdü-​sə-​bəl, -​ˈdyü-​ How to pronounce reduce (audio) \ adjective
reducibly adverb
reduction \ ri-​ˈdək-​shən How to pronounce reduce (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on reduce

Nglish: Translation of reduce for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reduce for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!