[dim-uh-noo-shuh n, -nyoo-]
See more synonyms for diminution on Thesaurus.com
  1. the act, fact, or process of diminishing; lessening; reduction.
  2. Music. the repetition or imitation of a subject or theme in notes of shorter duration than those first used.

Origin of diminution

1275–1325; Middle English diminucion < Anglo-French diminuciun < Latin dīminūtiōn- (stem of dīminūtiō), for dēminūtiōn- (stem of dēminūtiō) (by influence of dīmunuere; see diminish), equivalent to dēminūt(us) (past participle of dēminuere, equivalent to dē- de- + minuere to lessen) + -iōn- -ion
Related formspre·dim·i·nu·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for diminution

Contemporary Examples of diminution

Historical Examples of diminution

  • In buying or selling, any excess or diminution of what the law allows shall be registered.



  • The difficulty increases with the increase, and diminishes with the diminution of the number.



  • We have borne the heat without any diminution of natural strength.

  • There seems no diminution in the plague yet, that we can discern.

  • The diminution is often considerable, often indeed absolute.

British Dictionary definitions for diminution


  1. reduction; decrease
  2. music the presentation of the subject of a fugue, etc, in which the note values are reduced in lengthCompare augmentation (def. 3)

Word Origin for diminution

C14: from Latin dēminūtiō; see diminish
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 diminution

c.1300, from Anglo-French diminuciun, Old French diminucion, from Latin diminutionem (nominative diminutio), earlier deminutionem, noun of action from past participle stem of deminuere (see diminish).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper