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

Businesses have already reduced their investment spending as the U.S.-China trade war has raised costs and uncertainty, and the slowing global economy has cut into U.S. exports. Washington Post, "Oil prices jump as attack on Saudi plant jolts supply," 18 Sep. 2019 And though this plan would drastically reduce the expected future floodwaters, this alone will not address the problems facing the town, experts previously said. Erin B. Logan, baltimoresun.com, "Proposals to ease development’s impact on Ellicott City flooding draw opposition from industry," 17 Sep. 2019 The agency estimates that the change will reduce the total number of USDA inspectors at pork plants by 40 percent, saving about $8.7 million a year. NBC News, "Trump administration allows pork slaughterhouses to have fewer USDA inspectors," 17 Sep. 2019 Cutting out animal products before dinner could reduce each of our annual carbon footprints by 1.3 metric tons. Kate Wheeling, The New Republic, "Jonathan Safran Foer on Our Moral Obligation to Eat Better," 17 Sep. 2019 Just under half believe the United States must drastically reduce its fossil fuel use in the next few years to avoid the worst effects of climate change. BostonGlobe.com, "Meanwhile, the number of teenagers who say they’re being taught in school how to mitigate climate change appears to be on the decline. Fourteen percent say they have learned ‘‘a lot’’ about the subject, down from 25 percent in 2010, when the Yale Project on Climate Change asked a similar question.," 17 Sep. 2019 Charges were dropped against Heintz last year while Wenzel took a plea deal in February that reduced his charges to a misdemeanor and spent 10 days in jail. Richard Tribou, orlandosentinel.com, "Last Florida man in shark dragging video case sentenced to 10 days in jail: report," 16 Sep. 2019 Eric Lenning, a meteorologist with the weather service in Romeoville, said some areas outside the city had visibility reduced to less than a quarter of a mile in the early morning hours. Katherine Rosenberg-douglas, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago’s foggy Monday morning could be repeated next few days as some suburbs deal with river flooding," 16 Sep. 2019 Water temperatures have been unusually warm in recent years, which reduces salmon food sources. Jim Robbins, New York Times, "How Long Before These Salmon Are Gone? ‘Maybe 20 Years’," 16 Sep. 2019

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

7 Oct 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 ferric iron reduces to ferrous 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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