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

  • intransitive v. To become or appear less or smaller; to lessen.
  • transitive v. To make smaller in any manner; to reduce in bulk or amount; to lessen; -- opposed to augment or increase.
  • 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.

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


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

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).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French diminuer.


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