[ verb dih-krees; noun dee-krees, dih-krees ]
/ verb dɪˈkris; noun ˈdi kris, dɪˈkris /

verb (used without object), de·creased, de·creas·ing.

to diminish or lessen in extent, quantity, strength, power, etc.: During the ten-day march across the desert their supply of water decreased rapidly.

verb (used with object), de·creased, de·creas·ing.

to make less; cause to diminish: to decrease one's work load.


the act or process of decreasing; condition of being decreased; gradual reduction: a decrease in sales; a decrease in intensity.
the amount by which a thing is lessened: The decrease in sales was almost 20 percent.

Origin of decrease

1350–1400; Middle English decres (noun), decresen (v.) < Old French decreiss-, long stem of decreistre < Latin dēcrēscere ( dē- de- + crēscere to grow); see crescent


1 wane, lessen, fall off, decline, contract, abate.
3 abatement, decline, subsidence, shrinking, dwindling, ebbing.

synonym study for decrease

1. Decrease, diminish, dwindle, shrink imply becoming smaller or less in amount. Decrease commonly implies a sustained reduction in stages, especially of bulk, size, volume, or quantity, often from some imperceptible cause or inherent process: The swelling decreased daily. Diminish usually implies the action of some external cause that keeps taking away: Disease caused the number of troops to diminish steadily. Dwindle implies an undesirable reduction by degrees, resulting in attenuation: His followers dwindled to a mere handful. Shrink especially implies contraction through an inherent property under specific conditions: Many fabrics shrink in hot water.


un·de·creased, adjective

Example sentences from the Web for decrease

British Dictionary definitions for decrease


verb (dɪˈkriːs)

to diminish or cause to diminish in size, number, strength, etc

noun (ˈdiːkriːs, dɪˈkriːs)

the act or process of diminishing; reduction
the amount by which something has been diminished

Derived forms of decrease

decreasing, adjective decreasingly, adverb

Word Origin for decrease

C14: from Old French descreistre, from Latin dēcrescere to grow less, from de- + crescere to grow