[ri-doos, -dyoos]

verb (used with object), re·duced, re·duc·ing.

verb (used without object), re·duced, re·duc·ing.

Origin of reduce

1325–75; Middle English reducen to lead back < Latin redūcere to lead back, bring back, equivalent to re- re- + dūcere to lead
Related formsan·ti·re·duc·ing, adjective, nounnon·re·duc·ing, adjectiveo·ver·re·duce, verb, o·ver·re·duced, o·ver·re·duc·ing.

Synonyms for reduce

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

Examples from the Web for reduce

Contemporary Examples of reduce

Historical Examples of reduce

British Dictionary definitions for reduce


verb (mainly tr)

(also intr) to make or become smaller in size, number, extent, degree, intensity, etc
to bring into a certain state, condition, etcto reduce a forest to ashes; to reduce someone to despair
(also intr) to make or become slimmer; lose or cause to lose excess weight
to impoverish (esp in the phrase in reduced circumstances)
to bring into a state of submission to one's authority; subjugatethe whole country was reduced after three months
to bring down the price of (a commodity)the shirt was reduced in the sale
to lower the rank or status of; demotehe was reduced from corporal to private; reduced to the ranks
to set out systematically as an aid to understanding; simplifyhis theories have been reduced in a popular treatise
maths to modify or simplify the form of (an expression or equation), esp by substitution of one term by another
cookery to make (a sauce, stock, etc) more concentrated by boiling away some of the water in it
to thin out (paint) by adding oil, turpentine, etc; dilute
(also intr) chem
  1. to undergo or cause to undergo a chemical reaction with hydrogen or formation of a hydride
  2. to lose or cause to lose oxygen atoms
  3. to undergo or cause to undergo an increase in the number of electronsCompare oxidize
photog to lessen the density of (a negative or print) by converting some of the blackened silver in the emulsion to soluble silver compounds by an oxidation process using a photographic reducer
surgery to manipulate or reposition (a broken or displaced bone, organ, or part) back to its normal site
(also intr) biology to undergo or cause to undergo meiosis
Derived Formsreducible, adjectivereducibility, nounreducibly, adverb

Word Origin for reduce

C14: from Latin redūcere to bring back, from re- + dūcere to lead
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 reduce

late 14c., "bring back," from Old French reducer (14c.), from Latin reducere "lead back, bring back," figuratively "restore, replace," from re- "back" (see re-) + ducere "bring, lead" (see duke (n.)). Meaning "bring to an inferior condition" is 1570s; that of "bring to a lower rank" is 1640s (military reduce to ranks is from 1802); that of "subdue by force of arms" is 1610s. Sense of "to lower, diminish, lessen" is from 1787. Related: Reduced; reducing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for reduce




To bring down, as in extent, amount, or degree; diminish.
To lose weight, as by dieting.
To restore a fractured or displaced body part to a normal condition or position.
To decrease the valence of an atom by adding electrons.
To remove oxygen from a compound.
To add hydrogen to a compound.
Related formsre•duci•ble adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.