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

  • transitive v. To bring down, as in extent, amount, or degree; diminish. See Synonyms at decrease.
  • transitive v. To bring to a humbler, weaker, difficult, or forced state or condition; especially:
  • transitive v. To gain control of; conquer: "a design to reduce them under absolute despotism” ( Declaration of Independence).
  • transitive v. To subject to destruction: Enemy bombers reduced the city to rubble.
  • transitive v. To weaken bodily: was reduced almost to emaciation.
  • transitive v. To sap the spirit or mental energy of.
  • transitive v. To compel to desperate acts: The Depression reduced many to begging on street corners.
  • transitive v. To lower in rank or grade. See Synonyms at demote.
  • transitive v. To powder or pulverize.
  • transitive v. To thin (paint) with a solvent.
  • transitive v. To lower the price of: The store has drastically reduced winter coats.
  • transitive v. To put in order or arrange systematically.
  • transitive v. To separate into orderly components by analysis.
  • transitive v. Chemistry To decrease the valence of (an atom) by adding electrons.
  • transitive v. Chemistry To remove oxygen from (a compound).
  • transitive v. Chemistry To add hydrogen to (a compound).
  • transitive v. Chemistry To change to a metallic state by removing nonmetallic constituents; smelt.
  • transitive v. Mathematics To simplify the form of (an expression, such as a fraction) without changing the value.
  • transitive v. Medicine To restore (a fractured or displaced body part) to a normal condition or position.
  • intransitive v. To become diminished.
  • intransitive v. To lose weight, as by dieting.
  • intransitive v. Biology To undergo meiosis.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To bring down the size, quantity, quality, value or intensity of something; to diminish, to lower, to impair.
  • v. To lose weight.
  • v. To bring to an inferior rank; to degrade, to demote.
  • v. To humble; to conquer; to subdue; to capture.
  • v. To bring to an inferior state or condition.
  • v. To decrease the liquid content of food by boiling much of its water off.
  • v. To add electrons / hydrogen or to remove oxygen.
  • v. To produce metal from ore by removing nonmetallic elements in a smelter.
  • v. To simplify an equation or formula without changing its value.
  • v. To convert to written form (Usage note: this verb almost always take the phrase "to writing").
  • v. To perform a reduction; to restore a fracture or dislocation to the correct alignment.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To bring or lead back to any former place or condition.
  • transitive v. To bring to any inferior state, with respect to rank, size, quantity, quality, value, etc.; to diminish; to lower; to degrade; to impair.
  • transitive v. To bring to terms; to humble; to conquer; to subdue; to capture.
  • transitive v. To bring to a certain state or condition by grinding, pounding, kneading, rubbing, etc.
  • transitive v. To bring into a certain order, arrangement, classification, etc.; to bring under rules or within certain limits of descriptions and terms adapted to use in computation
  • transitive v.
  • transitive v. To change, as numbers, from one denomination into another without altering their value, or from one denomination into others of the same value
  • transitive v. To change the form of a quantity or expression without altering its value
  • transitive v. To add an electron to an atom or ion.
  • transitive v. To restore to its proper place or condition, as a displaced organ or part.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To lead or bring back; restore; resolve to a former state.
  • In surgery, to restore to its proper place, or so that the parts concerned are brought back to their normal topographical relations: as, to reduce a dislocation, fracture, or hernia.
  • To bring to any specified state, condition, or form: as, to reduce civil affairs to order; to reduce a man to poverty or despair; to reduce glass to powder; to reduce a theory to practice; to reduce a Latin phrase to English.
  • In metallurgy and chem., to bring into the metallic form; separate, as a metal, from the oxygen or other mineralizer with which it may be combined, or change from a higher to a lower degree of oxidation: as, to reduce the ores of silver or copper.
  • To atone for; repair; redress.
  • To bring down; diminish in length, breadth, thickness, size, quantity, value, or the like: as, to reduce expenses; to reduce the quantity of meat in diet; to reduce, the price of goods; to reduce the strength of spirit; to reduce a figure or design (to make a smaller copy of it without changing the form or proportion).
  • To bring to an inferior condition; weaken; impoverish; lower; degrade; impair in fortune, dignity, or strength: as, the family were in reduced circumstances; the patient was much reduced by hemorrhage.
  • To subdue, as by force of arms; bring into subjection; render submissive: as, to reduce mutineers to submission; Spain, Gaul, and Britain were reduced by the Roman arms.
  • To bring into a class, order, genus, or species; bring within certain limits of definition or description.
  • The variations of languages are reduced to rules.
  • To show (a problem) to be merely a special case of one already solved.
  • To change the denomination of (numbers): as, to reduce a number of shillings to farthings, or conversely (see reduction ); change the form of (an algebraic expression) to one simpler or more convenient.
  • To prove the conclusion of (an indirect syllogism) from its premises by means of direct syllogism and immediate inference alone.
  • To adjust (an observed quantity) by subtracting from it effects due to the special time and place of observation, especially, in astronomy, by removing the effects of refraction, parallax, aberration, precession, and nutation, changing a circummeridian to a meridian altitude, and the like.
  • In Scots law, to set aside by an action at law; rescind or annul by legal means: as, to reduce a deed, writing, etc.
  • Milit., to take off the establishment and strike off the pay-roll, as a regiment. When a regiment is reduced, the officers are generally put upon half-pay.
  • Synonyms To lessen, decrease, abate, curtail, shorten, abridge, contract, retrench.
  • Same as puer.

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

  • v. be the essential element
  • v. reduce in scope while retaining essential elements
  • v. put down by force or intimidation
  • v. undergo meiosis
  • v. be cooked until very little liquid is left
  • v. reposition (a broken bone after surgery) back to its normal site
  • v. make smaller
  • v. destress and thus weaken a sound when pronouncing it
  • v. reduce in size; reduce physically
  • v. cut down on; make a reduction in
  • v. cook until very little liquid is left
  • v. bring to humbler or weaker state or condition
  • v. to remove oxygen from a compound, or cause to react with hydrogen or form a hydride, or to undergo an increase in the number of electrons
  • v. take off weight
  • v. narrow or limit
  • v. lessen the strength or flavor of a solution or mixture
  • v. lessen and make more modest
  • v. make less complex
  • v. simplify the form of a mathematical equation of expression by substituting one term for another
  • v. lower in grade or rank or force somebody into an undignified situation


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

Middle English reducen, to bring back, from Old French reducier, from Latin redūcere : re-, re- + dūcere, to lead.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin redūcere, present active infinitive of redūcō ("reduce"); from re- ("back"), + dūcō ("lead"). See duke, and compare with redoubt.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.