dwin·​dle | \ ˈdwin-dᵊl How to pronounce dwindle (audio) \
dwindled; dwindling\ ˈdwin-​(d)liŋ How to pronounce dwindle (audio) , -​dᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of dwindle

intransitive verb

: to become steadily less : shrink Their savings dwindled to nothing. a dwindling population

transitive verb

: to make steadily less

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Choose the Right Synonym for dwindle

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

Examples of dwindle in a Sentence

Our energy dwindled as the meeting dragged on. The town's population is dwindling away.
Recent Examples on the Web After a few weeks of success with vaccinations, Miller saw the number of workers showing up at company clinics dwindle. Washington Post, 5 Oct. 2021 But with so many buyers, inventory is beginning to dwindle across the country, setting the stage for a spike in rental prices. Cristiano Piquet, Forbes, 23 Sep. 2021 Blue crabs are an important source of food for the cranes, and without the balance between freshwater flows and gulf salt water, the crab population can dwindle. Elena Bruess, San Antonio Express-News, 19 Sep. 2021 Without the character’s lopsided grandeur — in the original, some of his boasts are real — the character can dwindle into being merely a handsy loser, the butt of a bunch of mean fat jokes. Helen Shaw, Vulture, 9 Aug. 2021 Sunday night: Skies turn partly cloudy and rain chances should dwindle by late evening. Washington Post, 30 July 2021 Antibody stocks, after all, naturally dwindle over time, but the body retains the ability to replenish them. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 21 July 2021 This staggering number of manatee deaths has experts concerned that Florida's manatee population of roughly 6,300 animals, according to the NPR, could dwindle to near extinction levels. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, 13 July 2021 But Phantom store manager Joe Zaradich and an employee at Shelton Fireworks in Porter warned that inventory could dwindle fast this year, due to supply shortages resulting from the pandemic and last year’s sales boon. Karen Caffarini, chicagotribune.com, 30 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dwindle.' 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 dwindle

1596, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for dwindle

probably frequentative of dwine to waste away, from Middle English, from Old English dwīnan; akin to Old Norse dvīna to pine away, deyja to die — more at die

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Time Traveler for dwindle

Time Traveler

The first known use of dwindle was in 1596

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Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dwindle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dwindle. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for dwindle



English Language Learners Definition of dwindle

: to gradually become smaller


dwin·​dle | \ ˈdwin-dəl How to pronounce dwindle (audio) \
dwindled; dwindling

Kids Definition of dwindle

: to make or become less or smaller … she had suddenly dwindled down to the size of a little doll …— Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass

More from Merriam-Webster on dwindle

Nglish: Translation of dwindle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dwindle for Arabic Speakers


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