Definition of diminution in English:



  • 1A reduction in the size, extent, or importance of something.

    ‘a permanent diminution in value’
    [mass noun] ‘the disease shows no signs of diminution’
    • ‘And with war, I see the problems I outlined earlier, and I see a diminution in the authority and the work of the United Nations for the future.’
    • ‘I want increased liberty, equality and fraternity, not a diminution of democracy as we are tiptoed into totalitarianism and authoritarianism.’
    • ‘The diminution of the importance of olfaction is a casualty of the drive towards the intellectualisation of modern life.’
    • ‘The smaller back room was crowded with scaled-down pieces, which seemed to have picked up density and psychological charge along with their diminution in size.’
    • ‘This is a reflection of the diminution in the importance of marriage, and of the adult relationship as the focus of attention for family law and policy, and of the shift towards an emphasis upon parenthood.’
    • ‘At national level, the diminution in the importance of the marine sector within the Government structure continues.’
    • ‘The recent diminution on the international scene of these three nations means less illustrious sides are no longer gripped with a fear factor when facing what have tended to be considered behemoths of the game.’
    • ‘The other concerns some of the central moral arguments for the elimination of sex roles and the diminution, if not elimination, of the importance of distinctions connected with one's sex or race.’
    • ‘But doctors have their patients' interests at heart and they don't like the diminution of service, especially the possibility of a six hour wait during an out of hours emergency.’
    • ‘The diminution of the scope and autonomy of the private sphere constrains the potential for development of the individual through intimate relationships.’
    • ‘A by-product of the diminution of subjectivity was the undermining of medical science and the corresponding inflation of health as a moral discourse.’
    • ‘The obsession with size - or the diminution thereof - seems to lead some people to lose sight of what really matters, which is profitability.’
    • ‘The effect of the laws was to reduce total turnover by about 10 per cent, with a corresponding diminution of imports from other Member States.’
    • ‘National-security types often assure us that wartime diminutions of civil liberties are only temporary.’
    • ‘Sexual behavior in women and men declines steadily from adolescence into older age, and to a lesser extent there is diminution in sexual desire.’
    • ‘Their combined activities result in a net diminution of wealth across the board, whether peanut farmers or tobacco farmers win their vaunted subsidies.’
    • ‘But it would signal a significant diminution of polarization only if the candidate were able to hold onto enough of the base to win the general election.’
    • ‘The old man told him, with vain regrets, as age was creeping on him, and he had been obliged to relinquish part of his duties, that of delivering the town letters, and this meant a considerable diminution of salary.’
    • ‘Any attempt to force a decision on a woman represents a diminution of the woman's ability to control her own body, revealing an attitude that ‘women do not know what is good for them’.’
    • ‘But it is hard to sustain that insistence on the preservation of the Catholic tradition on the one hand with a total insistence on the diminution of a Protestant tradition on the other.’
    curtailment, curtailing, cutting back, cutback, cut, attenuation, reduction, lessening, lowering, decrease, contraction, constriction, restriction, limitation, limiting, curbing
    decline, decrease, reduction, dwindling, shrinking, fading, failing, weakening, slackening, ebb, receding, wane, falling off
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Music The shortening of the time values of notes in a melodic part.
      • ‘He nurses it through E flat, B flat minor and various wispy diminutions, never losing sight of his beginning; then finally cranks it up through G flat / F sharp minor back to the initial high D for his recapitulation, ‘Who will remember?’’
      • ‘The motif moves in dotted minims, and though diminutions of it and its inversion abound throughout the symphony, it is in this rhythmic form that it plays its most important role.’


Middle English: via Old French from Latin deminutio(n-), from the verb deminuere (see diminish).