Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of reduce
Meaning of reduce by Wiktionary Dictionary



    Latin redūcere, present active infinitive of redūcō ( “reduce” ); from re- ( “back” ), + dūcō ( “lead” ). See duke, and compare with redoubt .


    • ( RP ) IPA: /ɹɪˈdjuːs/, X-SAMPA: /rI"dju:s/
    • ( GenAm ) IPA: /ɹɪˈduːs/, X-SAMPA: /rI"du:s/
    • Rhymes: -uːs


    reduce ( third-person singular simple present reduces present participle reducing, simple past and past participle reduced )

    1. ( transitive ) To bring down the size, quantity, quality, value or intensity of something; to diminish, to lower, to impair.
    2. ( intransitive ) To lose weight .
    3. ( transitive ) To bring to an inferior rank; to degrade, to demote.
    4. ( transitive ) To humble; to conquer; to subdue; to capture.
    5. ( transitive ) To bring to an inferior state or condition.
    6. ( transitive, cooking ) To decrease the liquid content of food by boiling much of its water off .
    7. ( transitive, chemistry ) To add electrons / hydrogen or to remove oxygen .
    8. ( transitive, metallurgy ) To produce metal from ore by removing nonmetallic elements in a smelter .
    9. ( transitive, mathematics ) To simplify an equation or formula without changing its value .
    10. ( transitive, law ) To convert to written form ( Usage note: this verb almost always take the phrase "to writing" ).

    See also

    See also

    • reduce in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913

Explanation of reduce by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. take off weight

    2. lessen the strength or flavor of a solution or mixture

    3. narrow or limit

    4. reduce the influx of foreigners
    5. cook until very little liquid is left

    6. The cook reduced the sauce by boiling it for a long time
    7. be cooked until very little liquid is left

    8. The sauce should reduce to one cup
    9. be the essential element

    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

    11. make smaller

    12. reduce an image
    13. reduce in size

    14. make less complex

    15. reduce a problem to a single question
    16. reduce in scope while retaining essential elements

    17. cut down on

    18. reduce your daily fat intake
    19. destress and thus weaken a sound when pronouncing it

    20. reposition ( a broken bone after surgery ) back to its normal site

    21. undergo meiosis

    22. The cells reduce
    23. lower in grade or rank or force somebody into an undignified situation

    24. She reduced her niece to a servant
    25. simplify the form of a mathematical equation of expression by substituting one term for another

    26. lessen and make more modest

    27. reduce one's standard of living
    28. bring to humbler or weaker state or condition

    29. He reduced the population to slavery
    30. put down by force or intimidation

    Definition of reduce by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Reduce ( redūs ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Reduced ( -dūst ),; p. pr. & vb. n. Reducing ( -dūsĭng ).] [L. reducere, reductum; pref. red-. re-, re- + ducere to lead. See Duke, and cf. Redoubt, n.]
      1. To bring or lead back to any former place or condition. [Obs.]

      And to his brother's house reduced his wife. Chapman.

      The sheep must of necessity be scattered, unless the great Shephered of souls oppose, or some of his delegates reduce and direct us. Evelyn.

      2. To bring to any inferior state, with respect to rank, size, quantity, quality, value, etc.; to diminish; to lower; to degrade; to impair; as, “to reduce a sergeant to the ranks; to reduce a drawing; to reduce expenses; to reduce the intensity of heat”. “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.

      3. To bring to terms; to humble; to conquer; to subdue; to capture; as, “to reduce a province or a fort”.

      4. To bring to a certain state or condition by grinding, pounding, kneading, rubbing, etc.; as, “to reduce a substance to powder, or to a pasty mass; to reduce fruit, wood, or paper rags, to pulp.”

      It were but right

      And equal to reduce me to my dust. Milton.

      5. To bring into a certain order, arrangement, classification, etc.; to bring under rules or within certain limits of descriptions and terms adapted to use in computation; as, “to reduce animals or vegetables to a class or classes; to reduce a series of observations in astronomy; to reduce language to rules.”

      6. ( Arith. ) To change, as numbers, from one denomination into another without altering their value, or from one denomination into others of the same value; as, “to reduce pounds, shillings, and pence to pence, or to reduce pence to pounds; to reduce days and hours to minutes, or minutes to days and hours.” To change the form of a quantity or expression without altering its value; as, “to reduce fractions to their lowest terms, to a common denominator, etc.”

      7. ( Chem. ) To add an electron to an atom or ion. Specifically: To remove oxygen from; to deoxidize. ( Metallurgy ) To bring to the metallic state by separating from combined oxygen and impurities; as, “metals are reduced from their ores”. ( Chem. ) To combine with, or to subject to the action of, hydrogen or any other reducing agent; as, “ferric iron is reduced to ferrous iron; aldehydes can be reduced to alcohols by lithium hydride;” -- opposed to oxidize.

      8. ( Med. ) To restore to its proper place or condition, as a displaced organ or part; as, “to reduce a dislocation, a fracture, or a hernia”.

      Reduced iron ( Chem. ), metallic iron obtained through deoxidation of an oxide of iron by exposure to a current of hydrogen or other reducing agent. When hydrogen is used the product is called also iron by hydrogen. -- To reduce an equation ( Alg. ), to bring the unknown quantity by itself on one side, and all the known quantities on the other side, without destroying the equation. -- To reduce an expression ( Alg. ), to obtain an equivalent expression of simpler form. -- To reduce a square ( Mil. ), to reform the line or column from the square.

      Syn. -- To diminish; lessen; decrease; abate; shorten; curtail; impair; lower; subject; subdue; subjugate; conquer.