Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act or process of decreasing or becoming gradually less.
  • n. The amount lost by gradual diminution or waste.
  • n. Mathematics The amount by which a variable is decreased; a negative increment.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small quantity removed or lost. One of a series of regular subtractions.
  • v. To decrease a value by a basic quantity unit.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The state of becoming gradually less; decrease; diminution; waste; loss.
  • n. The quantity lost by gradual diminution or waste; -- opposed to increment.
  • n. A name given by Haüy to the successive diminution of the layers of molecules, applied to the faces of the primitive form, by which he supposed the secondary forms to be produced.
  • n. The quantity by which a variable is diminished.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act or state of decreasing; the becoming gradually less; lessening; waste.
  • n. The quantity lost by gradual diminution or waste; specifically, in mathematics, the small part by which a variable quantity becomes less and less.
  • n. In heraldry, the condition of waning: said of the moon. It is represented by turning the horns of the crescent toward the sinister side. Also called detriment.
  • n. In crystallography, a successive diminution of the layers of molecules applied to the faces of the primitive form, by which the secondary forms are hypothetically produced.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the amount by which something decreases
  • n. a process of becoming smaller or shorter

Etymologies

Latin dēcrēmentum, from dēcrēscere, dēcrē-, to decrease; see decrease.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

Comments

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  • Trying to teach myself calculus again. Evidently the opposite of increment, but much less commonly used. Perhaps that's why it sounds really cool? Actually, I'm pretty sure I like this word only because every time I see/hear it I think specific decrement.

    November 24, 2010