[ dek-ruh-muh nt ]
/ ˈdɛk rə mənt /


the act or process of decreasing; gradual reduction.
the amount lost by reduction.
Mathematics. a negative increment.
Physics. the ratio of amplitudes of a damped harmonic motion in the course of two successive oscillations.

Nearby words

  1. decree,
  2. decree absolute,
  3. decree nisi,
  4. decree-law,
  5. decreet,
  6. decremental,
  7. decremeter,
  8. decreolize,
  9. decrepit,
  10. decrepitate

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for decrement

British Dictionary definitions for decrement


/ (ˈdɛkrɪmənt) /


the act of decreasing; diminution
maths a negative increment
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
(of spectra) a sequence of related spectrum lines decaying in intensity, e.g. Balmer decay

Word Origin for decrement

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



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper