decrease 1 of 2



2 of 2


Synonym Chooser

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

Thesaurus Entries Near decrease

Cite this Entry

“Decrease.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

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