Definition of decrement in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdekrəmənt/


1A reduction or diminution: relaxation produces a decrement in sympathetic nervous activity
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  • A consequence of their altered body composition, particularly the decrement in muscle mass, is a reduction in productivity during real life tasks.
  • Yet at some point, training reduction or complete inactivity will produce a decrement in physiological function and performance.
  • Both groups demonstrated large decrements in perceived physical health and smaller decrements in perceived emotional and mental health.
1.1An amount by which something is reduced or diminished: the dose was reduced by 10 mg weekly decrements
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  • Several months later, the pressure ulcer had not healed and the patient experienced a decrement of about 10% from pretrauma body weight.
1.2 Physics The ratio of the amplitudes in successive cycles of a damped oscillation.
Example sentences
  • The response amplitudes also converged as the trains progressed, although the relative decrement in response amplitude was lower.
  • Second, the relative decrement in response amplitude during a train is greatest closest to the release site, i.e., with exposure to the highest concentrations of transmitter.
  • Enlargement is supported by the observation that many small conductance increments can lead to a large decrement.


[with object] chiefly Computing
Cause a discrete reduction in (a numerical quantity): the instruction decrements the accumulator by one
More example sentences
  • When it is finished with it, the reference count is decremented.
  • When a message is sent to an evaluator, it increments a counter corresponding to that object and when the results are returned, the counter of the sender is decremented (which is encoded in the message).
  • The timer value is decremented at regular intervals.


Early 17th century (as a noun): from Latin decrementum 'diminution', from the stem of decrescere 'to decrease'.

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Syllabification: dec·re·ment

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