Definition of reduction in English:



  • 1The action or fact of making something smaller or less in amount, degree, or size:

    ‘talks on arms reduction’
    [count noun] ‘there had been a reduction in the number of casualties’
    • ‘A reduction in the intensity of training is recommended during the healing period.’
    • ‘A reduction in salt can help reduce blood pressure.’
    • ‘A reduction in the use of pesticides and a clean-up of waterways are part of the plan.’
    • ‘If there's a sustained period of reduced car crime and a reduction in claims, I think we would expect to see some sort of reduction in your car insurance, or alternatively a slow-down in the rate of increase.’
    • ‘After reduction, the print should be agitated in rapid fixer for 30 seconds before toning.’
    • ‘A reduction in fuel subsidies is planned for October, which will cause fuel prices to increase.’
    • ‘A reduction in the city's 50 percent parking tax also could be part of the mix, said Roddey.’
    • ‘He went on to express the hope that the removal of the grant would be reflected in a reduction of house prices.’
    • ‘A reduction in flights would have had little adverse effect on my progress through the program.’
    • ‘A reduction in perceived risk or an increase in the expected future cash flow of the corporate sector would cause stock prices to rise.’
    • ‘A reduction in winds can also limit the availability of nutrients.’
    • ‘After reduction, the units of silver are referred to as grains.’
    • ‘It should not therefore fall within Article 30, even if it did in fact lead to a reduction in imports.’
    • ‘A reduction in competition is not what consumers want.’
    • ‘A reduction in programming errors and increased reliability are additional benefits reaped by using a common code base.’
    • ‘A reduction in expertise will result, but will divert minor problems to a more accessible clinic.’
    • ‘A reduction in duties and taxes can significantly influence demand in a category that is price-sensitive.’
    • ‘A reduction in the dividend would save the company £150 million.’
    • ‘A reduction in tooth decay would reduce the risks of children dying during dental anaesthetics.’
    • ‘A reduction in size at that time may have allowed buntings to exploit that new food resource (grass seeds).’
    depletion, cut, cutting, cutback, scaling down, trimming, pruning, axing, chopping, curtailment, limiting
    easing, lightening, moderation, dilution, mitigation, commuting, qualification, alleviation, relaxation, abatement
    demotion, downgrading, lowering
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[count noun] The amount by which something is made smaller, less, or lower in price:
      ‘special reductions on knitwear’
      • ‘Britain has seen sustained real price reductions in sourcing energy.’
      • ‘We saw price reductions and some service quality improvements in our telecommunications sector and Victoria's electricity supply.’
      • ‘The Fed's five interest rate reductions this year have lowered the overnight bank lending rate to 4 percent.’
      • ‘This year's price reductions have only come about because of meaningful threats from the regulator.’
      • ‘Some of the majors have recently announced price reductions (99 cents a track, $1.49 a track, etc.).’
      • ‘Far from being a humanitarian action, the price reductions represent an attempt to preserve patent rights by diffusing international pressure for generic manufacturing.’
      • ‘It says Ford is demanding 30 percent price reductions in light of the impending free trade agreement with China.’
      • ‘We can deliver 30 to 40% price reductions each year.’
      • ‘As we saw in the US earlier in the year, the immediate reaction of share prices to interest rate reductions tends to be positive.’
      • ‘This oversupply has led to severe competition between the many of the players, which is often manifested as price reductions or discounts in order to clear excess inventory.’
      • ‘Motorists will welcome the continuing reductions in fuel prices, thanks to lower crude costs and the strengthening of the euro against the dollar.’
      • ‘Competition in the mainland's dairy industry, with more than 1,500 players, may also lead to price and margin reductions, it warned.’
      • ‘The spokesman said the signs were very useful in combating excess speed, showing reductions on average of eight or nine miles per hour.’
      • ‘In any industry, oversupply leads to price reductions and pressure on profit margins.’
      • ‘The idea of getting price reductions for customers by bulk buying was a unique service and about as heavily promoted as any e-commerce service has been to date.’
      • ‘The price reductions benefit colleges, which receive volume discounts from resellers.’
      • ‘They demand and get price reductions of three, four or five percent every year on existing products.’
      • ‘This should come as no surprise, given market concerns over consumer and corporate spending and confidence, price reductions, margin erosion and intense competition.’
      • ‘Because they buy goods directly from producers in huge quantities, they receive price reductions, which they then pass on to customers.’
      • ‘The proposals call for sugar quota and price reductions of 16% and 33% respectively.’
      lessening, lowering, decrease, diminution, minimizing
      discount, markdown, deduction, pullback, concession, allowance
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 The simplification of a subject or problem to a particular form in presentation or analysis:
      ‘the reduction of classical genetics to molecular biology’
      • ‘This process of simplification and hybridization involves reduction of linguistic resources and restriction of use to such limited functions as trade.’
      • ‘The reduction of reasoning to mechanical calculation that they identified is no clearer than in the inhuman logic of capitalist exchange.’
      • ‘I find this reduction of the subject to a victim sad.’
      • ‘Along with its adoption has come a simplification and reduction of the concept into forms that are more readily measured and calculated.’
    3. 1.3Mathematics The process of converting an amount from one denomination to a smaller one, or of bringing down a fraction to its lowest terms.
      • ‘In particular Zhang sees the reduction of fractions to a common denominator as hard.’
    4. 1.4Biology The halving of the number of chromosomes per cell that occurs at one of the two anaphases of meiosis.
      • ‘Double reduction is a phenomenon that two sister chromatids of a chromosome sort into the same gamete.’
      • ‘Sexual plant reproduction involves a reduction of the somatic chromosome number by meiosis followed by a restoration of the somatic chromosome number by fertilization.’
      • ‘As a consequence of such a chromosome reduction, cellular metabolite and energy resources would not be expended to maintain and express the deleted genetic information.’
      • ‘The reduction in cell number of the female gametophyte and embryo allows a large number of megasporogenesis events to occur in the ovary.’
  • 2[count noun] A thing that is made smaller or less in size or amount, in particular:

    1. 2.1 An arrangement of an orchestral score for piano or for a smaller group of performers.
      • ‘Ades' work is in 8 movements, and is so complex that it is not possible to do a piano reduction.’
      • ‘Philip Walsh conducts Jonathan Dove's ingenious orchestral reduction with flair, even if he can't disguise the occasional un-Puccinian scrawniness of the string sound.’
      • ‘Kudos must be given to Björling's unsung accompanist, particularly in the piano reductions of the arias.’
      • ‘Certain reductions and approximations had to be made, but the notes sound out the essence of the score.’
      • ‘Apparently Tilson Thomas and Grierson were the first pianists to record this reduction.’
      • ‘Although the composer himself prepared the piano reduction, one misses the vivid panoply of orchestral sonorities in La Valse.’
      • ‘Nadia evidently asked him to play an organ reduction of it at the service, and appeared to be satisfied with the result.’
      • ‘The Apollo piano reduction is by Stravinsky himself, so the notes are sacrosanct, Matjias says.’
      • ‘This is not in the piano reduction of the transcription.’
      • ‘The simple idea is that the student scores the piano reduction of, say, a Mozart symphony for the same forces as Mozart uses and then compares his version with Mozart's full score.’
      adaptation, setting, scoring, orchestration, instrumentation, harmonization
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 A thick and concentrated liquid or sauce made by boiling.
      • ‘The reduction of port jus was a little sweet for my taste, though the mash and carrots were delicious.’
      • ‘A wonderful sweet sauce, a reduction of olive oil and ketchup, had been dotted in the four cardinal points of the plate.’
      • ‘Add the reduction to the sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.’
      • ‘Roast foie gras is served very hot indeed; it was sauced with a reduction of Banyuls.’
      • ‘Drizzle saffron sabayon on the plate and spoon clusters of the reserved diced pears and poaching liquid reduction around the sabayon.’
      • ‘For the accompanying sauce he first did a reduction of shallots, white wine, fennel seeds and star aniseed.’
      • ‘Remember, most sauces are reductions, therefore the taste will be concentrated.’
      • ‘Chef Mallory Buford displays a sure hand, light on the fat but compensating by ratcheting up the flavor with strong reductions, inventive seasoning, and fresh herbs.’
      • ‘This was a deep, concentrated sauce, a model reduction of proper fish stock, wine and cream.’
      • ‘In a medium saucepan, bring the lobster stock reduction to a boil, add the cream, and simmer until reduced by half.’
    3. 2.3 A copy of a picture or photograph made on a smaller scale than the original.
      • ‘The painting itself did not subsequently spawn any of the painted repetitions and reductions that complicate the pedigree of Delaroche's later works.’
      • ‘Two of the works that they acquired were bought as reductions of the previously mentioned Napoleon at Fontainebleau and Napoleon Crossing the Alps.’
      • ‘Experimentation is necessary to determine the dilution required for a particular reduction.’
  • 3The action of remedying a dislocation or fracture by returning the affected part of the body to its normal position:

    ‘we must see if the fracture requires reduction’
    • ‘Seven years prior to admission, he sustained a traumatic ankle fracture that required surgical reduction.’
    • ‘Most patients with hip fracture require surgical reduction and internal fixation.’
    • ‘Subsequent plain films and computed tomography confirmed satisfactory reduction with no acetabular fracture.’
    • ‘The surgeon performs a trial reduction by maneuvering the hip joint through range of motion.’
    • ‘Fractures that are difficult to reduce or unstable after reduction may require orthopedic or hand referral.’
    • ‘Closed fractures of the distal phalanx may require reduction but usually are minimally displaced and stable, and can be splinted.’
    • ‘Reduction of acute nasal fractures in the primary care setting is confined largely to the closed reduction of mild unilateral fractures.’
    • ‘The following are the requisites for an acceptable reduction of any fracture listed in order of importance.’
    • ‘Occasionally, however, we need to flash sterilize an internal fixation screw set for an emergency open reduction with internal fixation of a fracture.’
    • ‘If the dislocation is irreducible or unstable after reduction, referral to an orthopedic or hand subspecialist is advised.’
    • ‘However, this break would require reduction and casting, and orthopedic referral.’
    • ‘Muscle spasm sets in shortly after dislocation, making reduction more difficult.’
    • ‘If adequate sedation and pain relief are not possible, reduction under general anaesthetic may be necessary to minimise the risk of complications for both the patient and the doctor.’
    • ‘Failure to reduce the dislocation successfully using these methods necessitates reduction under general anesthesia.’
    • ‘Radiographs should be taken when the physician is uncertain of dislocation or reduction.’
  • 4Chemistry
    The process or result of reducing or being reduced:

    ‘the reaction is limited to reduction to the hydrocarbon’
    • ‘Secondary alcohols can be formed by reduction of the ketone by hydrogen gas in the presence of a catalyst.’
    • ‘Oxidation and reduction are two processes that are quite common in chemical reactions.’
    • ‘The carboxyl group can also be converted into an alcohol by reduction of the carbonyl carbon.’
    • ‘The chemical reduction of nitrate to nitrite requires metabolic energy.’
    • ‘For example reduction of ethanol gives the alkene ethene.’
  • 5Phonetics
    Substitution of a sound which requires less muscular effort to articulate:

    ‘the process of vowel reduction’
    • ‘Also of interest are the examples in the lyrics of the sort of phonological reduction typical of the rapid speech of native English speakers.’
    • ‘The process that changed ‘iced cream’ to ‘ice cream’ is called consonant cluster reduction, by the way.’


Late Middle English (denoting the action of bringing back): from Old French, or from Latin reductio(n-), from reducere bring back, restore (see reduce). The sense development was broadly similar to that of reduce; sense 1 dates from the late 17th century.