AskDefine | Define reduce

Dictionary Definition



1 cut down on; make a reduction in; "reduce your daily fat intake"; "The employer wants to cut back health benefits" [syn: cut down, cut back, trim, trim down, trim back, cut, bring down]
2 make less complex; "reduce a problem to a single question"
3 bring to humbler or weaker state or condition; "He reduced the population to slavery"
4 simplify the form of a mathematical equation of expression by substituting one term for another
5 lower in grade or rank or force somebody into an undignified situation; "She reduced her niece to a servant"
6 be the essential element; "The proposal boils down to a compromise" [syn: come down, boil down]
7 reduce in size; reduce physically; "Hot water will shrink the sweater"; "Can you shrink this image?" [syn: shrink]
8 lessen and make more modest; "reduce one's standard of living"
9 make smaller; "reduce an image" [syn: scale down] [ant: blow up]
10 to remove oxygen from a compound, or cause to react with hydrogen or form a hydride, or to undergo an increase in the number of electrons [syn: deoxidize, deoxidise] [ant: oxidize, oxidize]
11 narrow or limit; "reduce the influx of foreigners" [syn: tighten]
12 put down by force or intimidation; "The government quashes any attempt of an uprising"; "China keeps down her dissidents very efficiently"; "The rich landowners subjugated the peasants working the land" [syn: repress, quash, keep down, subdue, subjugate]
13 undergo meiosis; "The cells reduce"
14 reposition (a broken bone after surgery) back to its normal site
15 reduce in scope while retaining essential elements; "The manuscript must be shortened" [syn: abridge, foreshorten, abbreviate, shorten, cut, contract] [ant: elaborate]
16 be cooked until very little liquid is left; "The sauce should reduce to one cup" [syn: boil down, decoct, concentrate]
17 cook until very little liquid is left; "The cook reduced the sauce by boiling it for a long time" [syn: boil down, concentrate]
18 lessen the strength or flavor of a solution or mixture; "cut bourbon" [syn: dilute, thin, thin out, cut]
19 take off weight [syn: melt off, lose weight, slim, slenderize, thin, slim down] [ant: gain]

User Contributed Dictionary



reducere, reductum; prefix red-. From re- + ducere. See duke, and compare with redoubt.


  • a RP /ɹɪˈdjuːs/, /rI"dju:s/
  • a GenAm /ɹɪˈduːs/, /rI"du:s/
    Rhymes with: -uːs


  1. To bring down the size, quantity, value or intensity of something; to diminish, to lower, to impair.
    • to reduce weight, speed, heat, expenses, price, personnel etc.
  2. To lose weight.
  3. To bring to an inferior rank; to degrade, to demote.
    • to reduce a sergeant to the ranks
    • An ancient but reduced family. --Sir W. Scott.
    • Nothing so excellent but a man may fasten upon something belonging to it, to reduce it. --Tillotson.
    • Having reduced their foe to misery beneath their fears. --Milton.
    • Hester Prynne was shocked at the condition to which she found the clergyman reduced. --Hawthorne.
  4. To humble; to conquer; to subdue; to capture.
    • to reduce a province or a fort
  5. To bring to an inferior state or condition.
    • to reduce a city to ashes
  6. In the context of "transitive|cooking": To decrease the liquid content of food by boiling much of its water off.
  7. In the context of "transitive|chemistry": To add electrons to or remove hydrogen.
  8. In the context of "transitive|metallurgy": To produce metal from ore by removing nonmetallic elements in a smelter.
  9. In the context of "transitive|math": To simplify an equation or formula without changing its value.


to bring down
to lose weight
  • Finnish: laihtua
  • Japanese: 減る
to bring to an inferior rank
  • Finnish: alentaa
  • Hungarian: csökkent
  • Japanese: 下げる, 切り詰める
to bring to terms; to humble; to conquer; to subdue; to capture
  • Finnish: alistaa, kukistaa
  • Hungarian: leigáz, lever
  • Japanese: 降伏, 鎮圧
to bring to an inferior state or condition
  • Finnish: muuttaa
  • Japanese: 強いる
to decrease the liquid in food
chemistry: to add electrons to or remove hydrogen
  • Finnish: pelkistää
  • Japanese: 還元
metallurgy: to remove non-metals from metal
  • Finnish: pelkistää
  • Japanese: qualifier phrase 不純物を取り除く
math: to simplify a formula
  • Finnish: sieventää
  • Japanese: 簡約, 約分

See also





Extensive Definition


Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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