Definition of decrease in English:

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Pronunciation: /dəˈkrēs/
Make or become smaller or fewer in size, amount, intensity, or degree: [no object]: the population of the area has decreased radically [with object]: in some cases vitamin E has decreased cholesterol levels
More example sentences
  • When fertility decreased, the garden would be abandoned and a new patch of land burnt for use.
  • Russian security unilateralism would decrease; consultation would increase.
  • Children from existing neighbourhoods will be affected by this catchment area decreasing.
lessen, reduce, drop, diminish, decline, dwindle, fall off;
die down, abate, subside, tail off, ebb, wane;
plummet, plunge
reduce, lessen, lower, cut (back/down), curtail;
slim down, tone down, deplete, minimize, slash


Pronunciation: /ˈdēˌkrēs/
Pronunciation: /dəˈkrēs/
An instance or example of becoming smaller or fewer: a decrease in births the rate of decrease became greater.
More example sentences
  • Interest rates on banking credits are expected to fall with the decrease in the basic interest rate.
  • Then came the economic downturn and a sharp decrease in the numbers venturing onto the slopes.
  • The capital encountered severe drought this year due to a sharp decrease in rainfall.
reduction, drop, decline, downtrend, downturn, cut, falloff, cutback, diminution, ebb, wane


on the decrease

Becoming less common or widespread; decreasing.
Example sentences
  • With inflation set to fall even further from an all time low of 1.9% in December for once the trend may just show the graph on the decrease rather than on an ever increasing curve.
  • The total investment however, has been steadily on the decrease since the economic crisis hit the country in the middle of 1997.
  • Such being the case, it is not exaggerating to say that the number of applicants for the doctoral degree is on the decrease in Korea.



Pronunciation: /dəˈkrēsiNGlē/ Pronunciation: /dēˈkrēsiNGlē/
[as submodifier]: voters have proved decreasingly willing to support the party
More example sentences
  • With decreasingly few exceptions, media is supported by advertising.
  • Changes in urban areas have resulted in a decreasingly child-friendly environment.
  • Dynamic debates within higher education were increasingly Africa-oriented and Africa-focused and decreasingly driven by the disciplines and discourses of their overseas counterparts.


Late Middle English: from Old French decreis (noun), decreistre (verb), based on Latin decrescere, from de- 'down' + crescere 'grow'.

  • crescent from Late Middle English:

    The Romans referred to the thin curve of the waxing moon early in its cycle as luna crescens, ‘growing moon’. Crescens comes from Latin crescere ‘to grow’, the source of many English words such as the late 19th century curved croissant (the French form of crescent), accrue (Late Middle English), decrease (Late Middle English), and increase (Late Middle English). From being applied to the moon the word came to be applied to anything of that same shape. See also crew

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: de·crease

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