1. that is or has been reduced.
  2. Mathematics. noting a polynomial equation in which the second highest power is missing: The cubic equation x3 − 4x + 4 = 0 is reduced.

verb (used with object), re·duced, re·duc·ing.

  1. to bring down to a smaller extent, size, amount, number, etc.: to reduce one’s weight by 10 pounds.
  2. to lower in degree, intensity, etc.: to reduce the speed of a car.
  3. to bring down to a lower rank, dignity, etc.: a sergeant reduced to a corporal
  4. to treat analytically, as a complex idea.
  5. to lower in price.
  6. to bring to a certain state, condition, arrangement, etc.: to reduce glass to powder.
  7. to bring under control or authority.
  8. Cookery. to evaporate water from (a sauce, soup, or other liquid), usually by boiling.
  9. Photography. to lessen the density of (an exposed negative).
  10. to adjust or correct by making allowances, as an astronomical observation.
  11. Mathematics. to change the denomination or form, but not the value, of (a fraction, polynomial, etc.).
  12. Chemistry.
    1. to add electrons to.
    2. to deoxidize.
    3. to add hydrogen to.
    4. to change (a compound) so that the valence of the positive element is lower.
  13. Chemistry, Metallurgy. to bring into the metallic state by separating from nonmetallic constituents.
  14. to thin or dilute: to reduce paint with oil or turpentine.
  15. to lower the alcoholic concentration of (spirits) by diluting with water.
  16. Surgery. to restore to the normal place, relation, or condition, as a fractured bone.
  17. Phonetics. to modify the quality of (a speech sound) to one of lesser distinctiveness, especially to pronounce (an unstressed vowel) as (ə) or another centralized vowel, as in the unstressed syllables of medicinal.

verb (used without object), re·duced, re·duc·ing.

  1. to become reduced.
  2. to become lessened, especially in weight.
  3. to be turned into or made to equal something: All our difficulties reduce to financial problems.
  4. Cell Biology. to undergo meiosis.

verb (mainly tr)

  1. (also intr) to make or become smaller in size, number, extent, degree, intensity, etc
  2. to bring into a certain state, condition, etcto reduce a forest to ashes; to reduce someone to despair
  3. (also intr) to make or become slimmer; lose or cause to lose excess weight
  4. to impoverish (esp in the phrase in reduced circumstances)
  5. to bring into a state of submission to one’s authority; subjugatethe whole country was reduced after three months
  6. to bring down the price of (a commodity)the shirt was reduced in the sale
  7. to lower the rank or status of; demotehe was reduced from corporal to private; reduced to the ranks
  8. to set out systematically as an aid to understanding; simplifyhis theories have been reduced in a popular treatise
  9. maths to modify or simplify the form of (an expression or equation), esp by substitution of one term by another
  10. cookery to make (a sauce, stock, etc) more concentrated by boiling away some of the water in it
  11. to thin out (paint) by adding oil, turpentine, etc; dilute
  12. (also intr) chem
    1. to undergo or cause to undergo a chemical reaction with hydrogen or formation of a hydride
    2. to lose or cause to lose oxygen atoms
    3. to undergo or cause to undergo an increase in the number of electronsCompare oxidize
  13. photog to lessen the density of (a negative or print) by converting some of the blackened silver in the emulsion to soluble silver compounds by an oxidation process using a photographic reducer
  14. surgery to manipulate or reposition (a broken or displaced bone, organ, or part) back to its normal site
  15. (also intr) biology to undergo or cause to undergo meiosis

late 14c., “bring back,” from Old French reducer (14c.), from Latin reducere “lead back, bring back,” figuratively “restore, replace,” from re- “back” (see re-) + ducere “bring, lead” (see duke (n.)). Meaning “bring to an inferior condition” is 1570s; that of “bring to a lower rank” is 1640s (military reduce to ranks is from 1802); that of “subdue by force of arms” is 1610s. Sense of “to lower, diminish, lessen” is from 1787. Related: Reduced; reducing.


  1. To bring down, as in extent, amount, or degree; diminish.
  2. To lose weight, as by dieting.
  3. To restore a fractured or displaced body part to a normal condition or position.
  4. To decrease the valence of an atom by adding electrons.
  5. To remove oxygen from a compound.
  6. To add hydrogen to a compound.

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