Thesaurus

reduce

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of reduce

1 to bring to a lower grade or rank
  • was reduced from team captain to team member as punishment for his misbehavior on the court

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2 to make smaller in amount, volume, or extent
  • you'll have to reduce the amount of money you spend on unnecessary purchases if you want to have any money left for retirement

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3 to diminish the price or value of
  • a mortgage crisis that reduced homes to their lowest level in a decade

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Frequently Asked Questions About reduce

How does the verb reduce differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of reduce are abate, decrease, diminish, dwindle, and lessen. While all these words mean "to grow or make less," reduce implies a bringing down or lowering.

you must reduce your caloric intake

When would abate be a good substitute for reduce?

The synonyms abate and reduce are sometimes interchangeable, but abate implies a reducing of something excessive or oppressive in force or amount.

the storm abated

Where would decrease be a reasonable alternative to reduce?

The meanings of decrease and reduce largely overlap; however, decrease suggests a progressive decline in size, amount, numbers, or intensity.

slowly decreased the amount of pressure

When can diminish be used instead of reduce?

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

his visual acuity has diminished

In what contexts can dwindle take the place of reduce?

In some situations, the words dwindle and reduce are roughly equivalent. However, dwindle implies progressive lessening and is applied to things growing visibly smaller.

their provisions dwindled slowly

When is lessen a more appropriate choice than reduce?

The words lessen and reduce are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, lessen suggests a decline in amount rather than in number.

has been unable to lessen her debt

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Time Traveler for reduce

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Reduce.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/reduce. Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on reduce

Dictionary: Definition of reduce

Medical Dictionary: Definition of reduce

Nglish: Translation of reduce for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reduce for Arabic Speakers

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