Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

2017 Word of the Year

dwindle

[dwin-dl] /ˈdwɪn dl/
verb (used without object), dwindled, dwindling.
1.
to become smaller and smaller; shrink; waste away:
His vast fortune has dwindled away.
2.
to fall away, as in quality; degenerate.
verb (used with object), dwindled, dwindling.
3.
to make smaller and smaller; cause to shrink:
Failing health dwindles ambition.
Origin of dwindle
1590-1600
1590-1600; dwine (now dial.) to waste away (Middle English; Old English dwīnan; cognate with Middle Dutch dwīnen to languish, Old Norse dvīna to pine away) + -le
Related forms
undwindling, adjective
Synonyms
1. diminish, decline, lessen, wane. 3. lessen.
Antonyms
1. increase. 3. magnify.
Synonym Study
1. See decrease.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for dwindle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Somehow her parts seemed always to dwindle this way in retrospect.

    Audrey Craven May Sinclair
  • Was that not less dishonourable than to bid him remain and dwindle as she looked at him?

    Love and Lucy

    Maurice Henry Hewlett
  • "Please, dwindle," Jones moaned, pressing his palms to his eyes.

    Master of None Lloyd Neil Goble
  • dwindle, sitting on his left, suddenly punched him vigorously in the ribs.

    Master of None Lloyd Neil Goble
  • "Maybe he just wants clarification on a question," dwindle said.

    Master of None Lloyd Neil Goble
  • "Over all, ninety-six per cent for Mr. Smith," dwindle said for the fourth time.

    Master of None Lloyd Neil Goble
British Dictionary definitions for dwindle

dwindle

/ˈdwɪndəl/
verb
1.
to grow or cause to grow less in size, intensity, or number; diminish or shrink gradually
Word Origin
C16: from Old English dwīnan to waste away; related to Old Norse dvīna to pine away
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for dwindle
v.

1590s, apparently diminutive and frequentative of Middle English dwinen "waste away, fade, vanish," from Old English dwinan, from Proto-Germanic *dwinanan (cf. Dutch dwijnen "to vanish," Old Norse dvina, Danish tvine, Low German dwinen), from PIE *dheu- (3) "to die" (see die (v.)). Related: Dwindled; dwindling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for dwindle

Word Value for dwindle

12
14
Scrabble Words With Friends