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decrement

[dek-ruh-muh nt]
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noun
  1. the act or process of decreasing; gradual reduction.
  2. the amount lost by reduction.
  3. Mathematics. a negative increment.
  4. Physics. the ratio of amplitudes of a damped harmonic motion in the course of two successive oscillations.

Origin of decrement

1475–85; < Latin dēcrēmentum, equivalent to dēcrē(tus) (see decrease) + -mentum -ment
Related formsdec·re·men·tal [dek-ruh-men-tl] /ˌdɛk rəˈmɛn tl/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for decrement

Historical Examples

  • The decrement in the capacity of the grooves follows the proportion of 15 to 11.

    A Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures and Mines

    Andrew Ure

  • Decrement, dek′re-ment, n. the act or state of decreasing: the quantity lost by decrease.

  • It is perfectly intelligible that a progressive fatigue and decrement of the magnitude of contraction must ensue.

    Life Movements in Plants

    Sir Jagadis Chunder Bose

  • Evolution is the decrement of this difference between the purely formal and the actual.

    The Mystery of Space

    Robert T. Browne

  • See an admirable statement of the three forms of decrement, in Hay, Trait de Minralogie, vol.


British Dictionary definitions for decrement

decrement

noun
  1. the act of decreasing; diminution
  2. maths a negative increment
  3. physics a measure of the damping of an oscillator, expressed by the ratio of the amplitude of a cycle to its amplitude after one period
  4. (of spectra) a sequence of related spectrum lines decaying in intensity, e.g. Balmer decay

Word Origin

C17: from Latin dēcrēmentum, from dēcrescere to decrease
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for decrement

n.

1620s, from Latin decrementum "diminution," from stem of decrescere (see decrease).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper