Definition of dwindle in US English:



[no object]
  • Diminish gradually in size, amount, or strength.

    ‘traffic has dwindled to a trickle’
    ‘dwindling resources’
    • ‘There are about 390 members spread far and wide but active membership in York is much smaller and dwindling.’
    • ‘Her strength dwindled as four men grasped hold of her and dragged her away.’
    • ‘As her 63 percent lead dwindles to a still respectable 56 or 55 percent next summer, she and her campaign advisers may suddenly feel the need to do something.’
    • ‘The island is one of Scotland's biggest tourist magnets in the summer, but business dwindles so much in the winter that the island's two hotels and most of its guest houses have to close.’
    • ‘Though she was many miles away, he felt her aura gradually dim and dwindle until it faded completely away…’
    • ‘As the world's oil resources continue to dwindle, the competition to find an alternative fuel increases in intensity.’
    • ‘The premiums continue to rise each year while the amount of coverage seems to dwindle.’
    • ‘Love fades and dwindles in the hurly-burly of life.’
    • ‘Is it not up to the property owner to see for himself that his real estate is dwindling in value?’
    • ‘North Sea gas supplies are gradually dwindling, with much of the infrastructure now at a ripe old age.’
    • ‘There is nothing wrong with the people - it is the investment which has gradually dwindled.’
    • ‘He said the farm's workforce was dwindling, with only four full-time employees.’
    • ‘It will not be long before the enemy must retreat into a continuous perimeter, as his manpower dwindles to the point where a mobile defense is no longer viable.’
    • ‘As communities dwindled and merged, Shaker villages were gradually sold off.’
    • ‘That shout had a different tone to it; towards the end of his name, her voice seemed to dwindle, fading.’
    • ‘The price will probably keep going up as supply slowly dwindles.’
    • ‘Though the amount of press it has seen has dwindled as of late, the show is still as exciting as ever.’
    • ‘As the teams dwindle in size, they will merge into one new tribe name Barramundi.’
    • ‘As government funding dwindles and the competition for charitable donations heats up, several facilities have turned to corporations and exchanged naming rights for cash.’
    • ‘As he strummed the song, with its hushed chorus that dwindles into a whisper by the end, the crowd knew it was one of those special cliched moments.’
    diminish, decrease, reduce, get smaller, become smaller, grow smaller, become less, grow less, lessen, wane, contract, shrink, fall off, taper off, tail off, drop, fall, go down, sink, slump, plummet
    decline, degenerate, deteriorate, fail, ebb, wane, sink, slip, slide, go downhill, go to rack and ruin, decay, wither, fade, fade away
    View synonyms


Late 16th century: frequentative of Scots and dialect dwine ‘fade away’, from Old English dwīnan, of Germanic origin; related to Middle Dutch dwīnen and Old Norse dvína.