diminishing returns

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diminishing returns pl (plural only)

  1. (idiomatic) A condition in which additional inputs into an organization, project or process produce progressively fewer or lower-quality additional outputs, and may, in extreme cases, cause the total quantity or quality of outputs to decrease.
    • 2012 May 15, Scott Tobias, “Film: Reviews: The Dictator”, in The Onion AV Club[1]:
      Brüno was a case of diminishing returns, intermittently amusing but not nearly as bracing or funny as Borat—it didn’t help that Brüno was the most thinly conceived of all his Da Ali G Show characters—and the lead-up to Baron Cohen’s new comedy, The Dictator, made it look like he’d boxed himself into a corner.