from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To make smaller or less or to cause to appear so.
- transitive v. To detract from the authority, reputation, or prestige of.
- transitive v. To cause to taper.
- transitive v. Music To reduce (a perfect or minor interval) by a semitone.
- intransitive v. To become smaller or less. See Synonyms at decrease.
- intransitive v. To taper.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To make smaller.
- v. To become smaller.
- v. To taper.
- v. To disappear gradually.
- v. To reduce a perfect or minor interval by a semitone.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To make smaller in any manner; to reduce in bulk or amount; to lessen; -- opposed to
- transitive v. To lessen the authority or dignity of; to put down; to degrade; to abase; to weaken.
- transitive v. To make smaller by a half step; to make (an interval) less than minor.
- transitive v. To take away; to subtract.
- intransitive v. To become or appear less or smaller; to lessen.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To lessen; make or seem to make less or smaller by any means; reduce: opposed to increase and augment: as, to diminish a number by subtraction; to diminish the revenue by reducing the customs.
- To lower in power, importance, or estimation; degrade; belittle; detract from.
- To take away; subtract: with from, and applied to the object removed.
- In music, to lessen by a semitone, as an interval.
- To lessen; become or appear less or smaller; dwindle: as, the prospect of success is diminishing by delay.
- Synonyms Dwindle, Contract, etc. (see decrease); to shrink, subside, abate, ebb, fall off.
- To taper, as a column.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. decrease in size, extent, or range
- v. lessen the authority, dignity, or reputation of
Middle English diminishen, blend of diminuen, to lessen (from Old French diminuer, from Latin dīminuere, variant of dēminuere : dē-, de- + minuere, to lessen) and minishen, to reduce (from Old French minuiser, from Vulgar Latin *minūtiāre, from Latin minūtia, smallness, from minūtus, small, from past participle of minuere).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French diminuer. (Wiktionary)