View synonyms for diminish


[ dih-min-ish ]

verb (used with object)

  1. to make or cause to seem smaller, less, less important, etc.; lessen; reduce.
  2. Architecture. to give (a column) a form tapering inward from bottom to top.
  3. Music. to make (an interval) smaller by a chromatic half step than the corresponding perfect or minor interval.
  4. to detract from the authority, honor, stature, or reputation of; disparage.

verb (used without object)

  1. to lessen; decrease.


/ dɪˈmɪnɪʃ /


  1. to make or become smaller, fewer, or less
  2. tr architect to cause (a column, etc) to taper
  3. tr music to decrease (a minor or perfect interval) by a semitone
  4. to belittle or be belittled; reduce in authority, status, etc; depreciate

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Derived Forms

  • diˈminishable, adjective
  • diˈminishment, noun
  • diˈminishingly, adverb

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Other Words From

  • di·minish·a·ble adjective
  • di·minish·ment noun
  • nondi·minish·ing adjective
  • predi·minish verb (used with object)
  • predi·minish·ment noun
  • undi·minish·a·ble adjective
  • undi·minish·a·ble·ness noun
  • undi·minish·a·bly adverb
  • undi·minished adjective
  • undi·minish·ing adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of diminish1

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English; blend of diminuen (from Anglo-French diminuer, from Medieval Latin dīminuere, from Latin dēminuere “to make smaller”) and minishen minish

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Word History and Origins

Origin of diminish1

C15: blend of diminuen to lessen (from Latin dēminuere to make smaller, from minuere to reduce) + archaic minish to lessen

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Synonym Study

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Example Sentences

These adjustments can help merchants replace diminished foot traffic with online traffic.

From Fortune

That number has grown, Hobson said, as resources have diminished.

The Vikings are close behind, though they were also diminished some by an offseason spent clearing cap space and acquiring draft picks — hence, the Diggs trade — and they look less imposing on paper as a result.

They say the trial pause shouldn’t diminish hope in AstraZeneca’s vaccine.

From Fortune

Like many housing authorities across the country, HACA has struggled with diminishing funding from the federal government.

He exploited a physique that most would try desperately to diminish.

The founder shut it down and left the state, hoping that time away would diminish the danger.

Even as the ranks of culture warriors on the right diminish, their zeal seems to intensify.

Perry and others seem to completely diminish the agency of South Sudanese in their own history.

Davis' abortion narrative has helped diminish the social stigma surrounding abortion.

For this reason they were obliged to diminish their rations, of which they had rather a small quantity.

To unduly increase rates would diminish traffic and induce competition by road and sea.

This evidence does not require us to abandon the supposition that the tides tend to diminish the earth's rate of rotation.

The result is, with the inward retreat of the steep it enters on conditions which diminish the effectiveness of the wave stroke.

At the same time the alluvial materials, building out to sea, thus diminish the slope of the stream.


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More About Diminish

What does diminish mean?

To diminish is to become smaller, fewer, or less, as in If we don’t order more, our stock of supplies will slowly diminish until we run out completely.

It can also mean to make smaller, fewer, or less, as in We need to diminish our reliance on fossil fuels. Close synonyms of these senses of diminish are reduce, decrease, and lessen.

Diminish can also be used in less literal ways. It can mean to make something seem smaller or less significant, as in The senator tried to diminish his role in the scandal. The verb downplay is used in a similar way.

To diminish a person is to reduce or take away from their stature, reputation, or authority in some way—to belittle or disparage them, as in The new tell-all book is clearly an attempt to diminish a man who is regarded as a legend in his field. 

Example: My interest in sports has diminished since I was a kid—I’m only a casual fan now.

Where does diminish come from?

The first records of the word diminish come from the 1400s. It comes from a blend of the Anglo-French-derived term diminuen, meaning “to lessen” (from Latin verb dēminuere, “to make smaller”), and the archaic word minish, which means the same thing as diminish.

A common use of diminish is in the phrase diminishing returns, which is used in the context of economics, business, and other fields to refer to a reduction in the desired result (the “return”) of some action, such as profit, productivity, or some other benefit. The law of diminishing returns is a model, developed by economist David Ricardo, stating that as more effort or money is invested into a venture, the less returns one is likely to get over time. The concept can be applied to many fields.

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What are some other forms related to diminish?

  • diminished (past tense verb, adjective)
  • diminishing (continuous tense verb, adjective)
  • diminishment (noun)
  • diminishable (adjective)

What are some synonyms for diminish?

What are some words that share a root or word element with diminish

What are some words that often get used in discussing diminish?

How is diminish used in real life?

Diminish can be used in all kinds of contexts, including those involving both tangible things (like supplies) and intangible ones (like quality or reputation).


Try using diminish!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of diminish

A. lessen
B . shrink
C. decrease
D. enlarge

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