diminish

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French diminuer.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

diminish (third-person singular simple present diminishes, present participle diminishing, simple past and past participle diminished)

  1. (transitive) To make smaller.
  2. (intransitive) To become smaller.
    • 2013 July 20, “Old soldiers?”, The Economist, volume 408, number 8845: 
      Whether modern, industrial man is less or more warlike than his hunter-gatherer ancestors is impossible to determine. [] One thing that is true, though, is that murder rates have fallen over the centuries, as policing has spread and the routine carrying of weapons has diminished. Modern society may not have done anything about war. But peace is a lot more peaceful.
  3. To lessen the authority or dignity of; to put down; to degrade; to abase; to weaken.
    • Robynson (More's Utopia)
      This doth nothing diminish their opinion.
    • Bible, Ezekiel xxix. 15
      I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations.
    • Milton
      O thou [] at whose sight all the stars / Hide their diminished heads.
  4. (intransitive) To taper.
  5. (intransitive) To disappear gradually.
  6. To take away; to subtract.
    • Bible, Deuteronomy iv. 2
      Neither shall ye diminish aught from it.
  7. (transitive, music) To reduce a perfect or minor interval by a semitone.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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