American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search


DECREASE, verb intransitive [Latin To grow.] To become less; to be diminished gradually, in extent, bulk, quantity, or amount, or in strength, quality, or excellence; as, the days decrease in length from June to December.

He must increase, but I must decrease John 3:30.

DECREASE, verb transitive To lessen; to make smaller in dimensions, amount, quality or excellence, etc.; to diminish gradually or by small deductions; as, extravagance decreases the means of charity; every payment decreases a debt; intemperance decreases the strength and powers of life.


1. A becoming less; gradual diminution; decay; as a decrease of revenue; a decrease of strength.

2. The wane of the moon; the gradual diminution of the visible face of the moon from the full to the change.