Definitions

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

  • intransitive v. To become gradually less until little remains.
  • transitive v. To cause to dwindle. See Synonyms at decrease.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To decrease, shrink, diminish, reduce in size.
  • v. To fall away in quality; degenerate, sink.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The process of dwindling; dwindlement; decline; degeneracy.
  • intransitive v. To diminish; to become less; to shrink; to waste or consume away; to become degenerate; to fall away.
  • transitive v. To make less; to bring low.
  • transitive v. To break; to disperse.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To diminish; become less; shrink; waste or consume away: with by or from before the cause, and to, in, or into before the effect or result: as, the body dwindles by pining or consumption; an estate dwindles from waste; an object dwindles in size as it recedes from view; from its constant exposure, the regiment dwindled to a skeleton.
  • To degenerate; sink; fall away in quality.
  • Synonyms Diminish, etc. (see decrease); attenuate, become attenuated, decline, fall off, fall away.
  • n. Gradual decline or decrease; a wasting away; degeneracy; decline.

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

  • v. become smaller or lose substance

Etymologies

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

Frequentative of Middle English dwinen, to waste away, from Old English dwīnan, to shrink; see dheu-2 in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Diminutive form of dwine, from Old English dwinan ("to waste away"), akin to Old Norse dvena/dvína (Danish tvine ("to pine away")).

Examples

  • Kim, who claimed Olympic gold with world record scores, saw her hopes of defending her world title dwindle as she blamed foot problems for placing over ten points behind US teenager Mirai Nagasu who leads going into Saturday's free skating final.

    Raw Story

  • Kim, who claimed Olympic gold with world record scores, blamed foot problems as she saw her hopes of defending her world title dwindle as she struggles over ten points behind Nagasu.

    canada.com Top Stories

  • As we approach the decade mark next month, the readership around here at GitM continues to dwindle, which is primarily my fault for not updating as much as I'd like.

    Megite Technology News: What's Happening Right Now

  • I watched the hippies become commodified and turned into hip capitalists — and the punks, you just watched them kind of dwindle away.

    Boing Boing

  • And we've been having our retirement savings put up and we've been using that, but it's begun to kind of dwindle away.

    Presidents Remarks In Healthcare Conference Call

  • After all, the rampant power supply failures of the 2004 models seemed to kind of dwindle in my opinion, so perhaps they fixed this too ...

    Discussions: Message List - root

  • Peaks, valleys, and landmarks dwindle as we move forward and then reappear in a new perspective as our path winds on.

    American Grace

  • There is a good possibility that the Cavs fan base would dwindle down to what it was prior to the Cavs drafting Lebron James, which does not bode well for the organization.

    Five Things That Will Happen in Cleveland IF Lebron James Leaves | myFiveBest

  • But GPC has struggled to make payments as Syria's cash reserves dwindle.

    Sanctions Push Shell to Depart Syrian Oil Fields

  • Psychology Middle-Age Cutthroats The fire of competitiveness doesn't dwindle after age 25 along with brain mass and steroid levels, it appears.

    Week in Ideas: Christopher Shea

Comments

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  • Fritter

    August 5, 2009

  • Only three? In what dwarfish world do the West Wing writers dwell? Have they been drinking too much dwale? And what kind of dwelling is the White House, anyway? Is the current dweller a mental dwarf (as some allege) or merely a dweeb? Etc.

    December 16, 2006

  • The West Wing dialogue is where I learned it.

    December 12, 2006

  • This fact was used for a bit of dialogue in The West Wing.

    December 12, 2006

  • There are only three words in the English language (I believe) that start with dw. Dwindle is but one.

    December 12, 2006