Synonyms & Antonyms of decrease

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 to make smaller in amount, volume, or extent
  • workers decreased the volume of water flowing through the pipes in order to prevent an overflow

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2 to grow less in scope or intensity especially gradually
  • the force of the wind slowly decreased until the flowers were standing upright again

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Antonyms for decrease



Synonyms & Antonyms of decrease (Entry 2 of 2)

the amount by which something is lessened
  • the average decrease in the price of milk was five cents per gallon

Synonyms for decrease

Words Related to decrease

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Antonyms for decrease

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Frequently Asked Questions About decrease

How does the verb decrease differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of decrease are abate, diminish, dwindle, lessen, and reduce. While all these words mean "to grow or make less," decrease suggests a progressive decline in size, amount, numbers, or intensity.

slowly decreased the amount of pressure

When would abate be a good substitute for decrease?

The meanings of abate and decrease largely overlap; however, abate implies a reducing of something excessive or oppressive in force or amount.

the storm abated

When could diminish be used to replace decrease?

While the synonyms diminish and decrease are close in meaning, diminish emphasizes a perceptible loss and implies its subtraction from a total.

his visual acuity has diminished

When can dwindle be used instead of decrease?

Although the words dwindle and decrease have much in common, dwindle implies progressive lessening and is applied to things growing visibly smaller.

their provisions dwindled slowly

When is it sensible to use lessen instead of decrease?

The words lessen and decrease can be used in similar contexts, but lessen suggests a decline in amount rather than in number.

has been unable to lessen her debt

When might reduce be a better fit than decrease?

While in some cases nearly identical to decrease, reduce implies a bringing down or lowering.

you must reduce your caloric intake

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Time Traveler for decrease

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Decrease.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on decrease

Nglish: Translation of decrease for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of decrease for Arabic Speakers


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