1. becoming less or fewer; diminishing.
  2. Mathematics. (of a function) having the property that for any two points in the domain such that one is larger than the other, the image of the larger point is less than or equal to the image of the smaller point; nonincreasing.Compare increasing(def 2).

verb (used without object), de·creased, de·creas·ing.

  1. to diminish or lessen in extent, quantity, strength, power, etc.: During the ten-day march across the desert their supply of water decreased rapidly.

verb (used with object), de·creased, de·creas·ing.

  1. to make less; cause to diminish: to decrease one’s work load.


  1. the act or process of decreasing; condition of being decreased; gradual reduction: a decrease in sales; a decrease in intensity.
  2. the amount by which a thing is lessened: The decrease in sales was almost 20 percent.

verb (dɪˈkriːs)

  1. to diminish or cause to diminish in size, number, strength, etc

noun (ˈdiːkriːs, dɪˈkriːs)

  1. the act or process of diminishing; reduction
  2. the amount by which something has been diminished

late 14c., “detriment, harm;” early 15c. as “a becoming less or smaller,” from Anglo-French decres; see decrease (v.).


late 14c., from Anglo-French decreiss-, present participle stem of decreistre, Old French descroistre (12c., Modern French décroître), from Latin decrescere “to grow less, diminish,” from de- “away from” (see de-) + crescere “to grow” (see crescent). Related: Decreased; decreasing.

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