Definition of decrease in English:



  • Make or become smaller or fewer in size, amount, intensity, or degree.

    [no object] ‘the population of the area has decreased radically’
    [with object] ‘in some cases vitamin E has decreased cholesterol levels’
    • ‘While employment figures continue to fall, their rate of decline has decreased.’
    • ‘Due to the farm crisis production in the rural areas has decreased by 25 percent.’
    • ‘We have seen an eighty per cent decrease in the number of firework injuries in the past two years.’
    • ‘The leaping activity is higher in infested compared to non-infested fish, and is decreasing with size.’
    • ‘There has even been a two per cent decrease in the number of cars torched.’
    • ‘Of course, students are still borrowing, but my advice has been that the average amount is decreasing.’
    • ‘The rashes decrease when the temperature subsides, but during the recurrence of fever, they reappear in a virulent form.’
    • ‘By the time the job was done, the bedroom had decreased in area by four square metres.’
    • ‘The longest wavelengths are in the red area, decreasing through yellow, green, blue, to violet.’
    • ‘Industry decreased and the area was not as good farming country as some once thought.’
    • ‘Its height was decreased by about 6 metres and only one clock was left on the front of the building.’
    • ‘Another reason why large towns and cities are generally warmer is due to decreased amounts of evaporation.’
    • ‘Children from existing neighbourhoods will be affected by this catchment area decreasing.’
    • ‘Russian security unilateralism would decrease; consultation would increase.’
    • ‘Therefore, the wear rate of rhino teeth, in terms of crown height, may decrease exponentially with age.’
    • ‘When fertility decreased, the garden would be abandoned and a new patch of land burnt for use.’
    • ‘The tropopause can be defined as the place where the temperature stops decreasing with height and becomes constant.’
    • ‘In a few years when the amount of smokers has decreased - that is when we should ban smoking in public places.’
    • ‘Calculations carried out by the team suggest bust and hip size have decreased while waist size has expanded.’
    lessen, become less, grow less, become smaller, grow smaller, reduce, drop, diminish, decline, dwindle, contract, shrink, fall off, die down
    reduce, lessen, make fewer, make less, lower, cut down/back, cut back on, cut down on, cut, curtail, contract, diminish, narrow, pare down, slim down, tone down, temper, weaken, deplete, minimize
    View synonyms


  • An instance or example of becoming smaller or fewer.

    ‘a decrease in births’
    ‘the rate of decrease became greater.’
    • ‘After all, a shrinking readership does not always imply a decrease in stature.’
    • ‘Then came the economic downturn and a sharp decrease in the numbers venturing onto the slopes.’
    • ‘The decrease in information mail has fallen off dramatically, to be replaced with a corresponding increase in junk mail.’
    • ‘Interest rates on banking credits are expected to fall with the decrease in the basic interest rate.’
    • ‘This study is so far too short-term to conclude whether this will in fact cause a decrease in mortality rates from cancer.’
    • ‘The total amount of money sent home dropped along with a decrease in the number of migrant workers.’
    • ‘Attacks resulted in a marked decrease in growth rate and massive damage from which the tree never fully recovered.’
    • ‘There is a general decrease in rainfall and an increase in the range of temperatures experienced as one moves away from the coast.’
    • ‘One in three of those polled said that a decrease in interest rates would result in a substantial increase in the number of people who would seek a bank loan.’
    • ‘Perhaps the greatest societal benefit will be a decrease in the divorce rate.’
    • ‘The capital encountered severe drought this year due to a sharp decrease in rainfall.’
    • ‘There has been a big decrease in unemployment over the past year, with a drop of 583 since October 1999.’
    • ‘This reduction in mortality was almost entirely due to a decrease in deaths due to accidental overdose.’
    • ‘The decrease in quarterly rate from 1992 onwards was seen consistently across the regions.’
    • ‘A slowdown in the birth rate has led to a dramatic decrease in the number of younger people in the workforce.’
    • ‘The increasing occurrences of drought and an overall decrease in absolute rainfall promoted drier climates.’
    • ‘In the last few decades all these countries estimated a decrease in their birth rate, but they also registered stabilization.’
    • ‘As for the decrease in deaths, a marked reduction in AIDS-related mortality has been observed in recent years.’
    • ‘This in its turn will lead to a decrease in the rate of economic growth, stagnation and shrinking of markets.’
    reduction, drop, lessening, lowering, decline, falling off
    letting up, slackening, downturn, cut, cutback, curtailment, diminution, contraction, shrinkage, ebb, wane, de-escalation
    dying down, abatement
    View synonyms


  • on the decrease

    • Becoming less common or widespread; decreasing.

      • ‘The spokesman added that their latest figures suggested the number of parking tickets being issued was on the decrease.’
      • ‘Yet the familial act of reading is apparently on the decrease.’
      • ‘Dirgopal Mangal, says conversion is on the decrease.’
      • ‘The number of people on the unemployment register locally is on the decrease.’
      • ‘Such being the case, it is not exaggerating to say that the number of applicants for the doctoral degree is on the decrease in Korea.’
      • ‘Printmakers are on the decrease, especially in this country, and she wishes to revive a demand for prints.’
      • ‘As in several European countries, the population of the elderly is on the rise and that of children on the decrease.’
      • ‘With inflation set to fall even further from an all time low of 1.9% in December for once the trend may just show the graph on the decrease rather than on an ever increasing curve.’
      • ‘The total investment however, has been steadily on the decrease since the economic crisis hit the country in the middle of 1997.’
      • ‘Apart from the burglary figures, crime as a whole was on the decrease, according to Insp Jones.’


Late Middle English: from Old French decreis (noun), decreistre (verb), based on Latin decrescere, from de- down + crescere grow.