Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To make smaller or less; reduce or lessen. synonym: decrease.
  • intransitive verb To detract from the authority, reputation, or prestige of.
  • intransitive verb To cause to taper.
  • intransitive verb Music To reduce (a perfect or minor interval) by a semitone.
  • intransitive verb To become smaller or less.
  • intransitive verb To taper.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To taper, as a column.
  • 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To become or appear less or smaller; to lessen.
  • transitive verb To make smaller in any manner; to reduce in bulk or amount; to lessen; -- opposed to augment or increase.
  • transitive verb To lessen the authority or dignity of; to put down; to degrade; to abase; to weaken.
  • transitive verb (Mus.) To make smaller by a half step; to make (an interval) less than minor.
  • transitive verb To take away; to subtract.
  • transitive verb one whose upper diameter is less than the lower.
  • transitive verb a scale of gradation used in finding the different points for drawing the spiral curve of the volute.
  • transitive verb (Arch.) a board cut with a concave edge, for fixing the entasis and curvature of a shaft.
  • transitive verb (Arch.) a stile which is narrower in one part than in another, as in many glazed doors.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To make smaller.
  • verb intransitive To become smaller.
  • verb intransitive To taper.
  • verb intransitive To disappear gradually.
  • verb transitive, music To reduce a perfect or minor interval by a semitone.

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

  • verb decrease in size, extent, or range
  • verb lessen the authority, dignity, or reputation of

Etymologies

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); see mei- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French diminuer.

Examples

  • The Dative of Reference denotes the person _to whom a statement refers, of whom it is true_, or _to whom it is of interest; _ as, -- mihi ante oculōs versāris, _you hover before my eyes_ (lit. _hover before the eyes to me_); illī sevēritās amōrem nōn dēminuit, _in his case severity did not diminish love_ (lit. _to him severity did not diminish_); interclūdere inimīcīs commeātum, _to cut of the supplies of the enemy.

    New Latin Grammar

  • "Uncharted 2" or "BioShock 2," I'm not going to let that number in the title diminish my enjoyment.

    Technology Technology

  • It is a known fact that the quantities of chemicals secreted by the brain diminish astronomically from the early 20's to late 70's.

    Learning Spanish

  • It is a known fact that the quantities of chemicals secreted by the brain diminish astronomically from the early 20's to late 70's.

    Learning Spanish

  • It is a known fact that the quantities of chemicals secreted by the brain diminish astronomically from the early 20's to late 70's.

    Learning Spanish

  • It is a known fact that the quantities of chemicals secreted by the brain diminish astronomically from the early 20's to late 70's.

    Learning Spanish

  • It is a known fact that the quantities of chemicals secreted by the brain diminish astronomically from the early 20's to late 70's.

    Learning Spanish

  • It is a known fact that the quantities of chemicals secreted by the brain diminish astronomically from the early 20's to late 70's.

    Learning Spanish

  • It is a known fact that the quantities of chemicals secreted by the brain diminish astronomically from the early 20's to late 70's.

    Learning Spanish

  • It is a known fact that the quantities of chemicals secreted by the brain diminish astronomically from the early 20's to late 70's.

    Learning Spanish

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