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REDU'CE, verb transitive [Latin reduco; re and duco, to lead or bring.]

1. Literally, to bring back; as, to reduce these bloody days again.

[In this sense, Not in use.]

2. To bring to a former state.

It were but just and equal to reduce me to my dust.

3. To bring to any state or condition, good or bad; as, to reduce civil or ecclesiastical affairs to order; to reduce a man to poverty; to reduce a state to distress; to reduce a substance to powder; to reduce a sum to fractions; to reduce on to despair.

4. To diminish in length, breadth, thickness, size, quantity or value; as, to reduce expenses; to reduce the quantity of any thing; to reduce the intensity of heat; to reduce the brightness of color light; to reduce a sum or amount; to reduce the price of goods.

5. To lower; to degrade; to impair in dignity or excellence.

Nothing so excellent but a man may fasten on something belonging to it, to reduce it.

6. To subdue; to bring into subjection. The Romans reduced Spain, Gaul and Britain by their arms.

7. To reclaim to order.

8. To bring, as into a class, order, genus or species; to bring under rules or within certain limits of description; as, to reduce animals or vegetables to a class or classes; to reduce men to tribes; to reduce language to rules.

9. In arithmetic, to change numbers from one denomination into another without altering their value; or to change numbers of one denomination into others of the same value; as, to reduce a dollar to a hundred cents, or a hundred cents to a dollar.

10. In algebra, to reduce equations, is to clear them of all superfluous quantities, bring them to their lowest terms, and separate the known from the unknown, till at length the unknown quantity only is found on one side and the known ones on the other.

11. In metallurgy, to bring back metallic substances which have been divested of their form, into their original state of metals.

12. In surgery, to restore to its proper place or state a dislocated or fractured bone.

To reduce a figure, design or draught, to make a copy of it larger or smaller than the original, but preserving the form and proportion.