diminish

[dih-min-ish]

verb (used with object)

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

verb (used without object)

to lessen; decrease.

Nearby words

  1. dimethyltryptamine,
  2. dimetric,
  3. dimetrodon,
  4. dimidiate,
  5. dimin.,
  6. diminished,
  7. diminished responsibility,
  8. diminished seventh chord,
  9. diminishing returns,
  10. diminishing returns, law of

Origin of diminish

1400–50; late Middle English; blend of diminuen (< Anglo-French diminuer < Medieval Latin dīminuere for Latin dēminuere to make smaller) and minishen minish

Related forms

Synonym study

5. See decrease.

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

Examples from the Web for diminish


British Dictionary definitions for diminish

diminish

verb

to make or become smaller, fewer, or less
(tr) architect to cause (a column, etc) to taper
(tr) music to decrease (a minor or perfect interval) by a semitone
to belittle or be belittled; reduce in authority, status, etc; depreciate
Derived Formsdiminishable, adjectivediminishingly, adverbdiminishment, noun

Word Origin for diminish

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

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 diminish

diminish

v.

early 15c., from merger of two obsolete verbs, diminue and minish. Diminue is from Old French diminuer "make small," from Latin diminuere "break into small pieces," variant of deminuere "lessen, diminish," from de- "completely" + minuere "make small" (see minus).

Minish is from Old French menuisier, from Latin minuere. Related: Diminished; diminishes; diminishing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper