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Definition of the verb reduce

What does reduce mean as a doing word?

Reduce is one of the top 1000 most common verbs. It is used mostly in informational writing, being one of the top 100 most common verbs in informational written English.View more statistics!

verb - inflections: reduced | reducing | reduces

  1. cut down on; make a reduction in
    • example: reduce your daily fat intake
    • syntax:
      Syntactic formulaExample for the syntactic formula
      [Cause] [Verb] [Patient]The lack of money limited the help
      [Cause] [Verb] [Patient] [Proposition, object control with infinitive]The lack of money limited them to help their peers only
      [Cause] [Verb] [Patient] to [Proposition]The lack of money limited the help to our peers
      [Cause] [Verb] [Patient] to [Proposition, object control with -ing]The lack of money limited them to helping to our peers

      Limit Verbs (with the same syntax): confine, constrain, limit, restrain, restrict.

    • lexical domain: Change - verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.
    • synonyms of reduce: bring down / cut / cut back / cut down / trim / trim back / trim down
    • more generic words: decrease / lessen / minify = make smaller
    • more specific terms:
      • shorten = make shorter than originally intended
      • spill = reduce the pressure of wind on
      • quench = reduce the degree of (luminescence or phosphorescence) in (excited molecules or a material) by adding a suitable substance
      • retrench = make a reduction, as in one's workforce
      • slash = cut drastically
      • thin out = make sparse
      • thin = make thin or thinner
      • take away / detract = take away a part from
      • deflate = reduce or cut back the amount or availability of, creating a decline in value or prices
      • inflate = increase the amount or availability of, creating a rise in value
      • downsize = reduce in size or number of employees
      • subtract = take off or away
      • knock off / shave = cut the price of
  2. make less complex
    • example: reduce a problem to a single question
    • lexical domain: Change - verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.
    • more generic word: simplify = make simpler or easier or reduce in complexity or extent
    • more specific word: abbreviate = shorten
  3. bring to humbler or weaker state or condition
  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
  6. be the essential element
    • lexical domain: Change - verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.
    • synonyms of reduce: boil down / come down
    • more generic words: become / turn = undergo a change or development
  7. reduce in size; reduce physically
  8. lessen and make more modest
    • example: reduce one's standard of living
    • lexical domain: Possession - verbs of buying, selling, owning
    • more generic word: impoverish = make poor
  9. make smaller
    • example: reduce an image
    • lexical domain: Change - verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.
    • synonym of reduce: scale down
    • antonym of reduce: blow up
    • more generic word: shrink = reduce in size
  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
    • domain: chemical science / chemistry
    • lexical domain: Change - verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.
    • synonyms of reduce: deoxidise / deoxidize
    • more generic word: change = undergo a change; become different in essence
    • more specific words:
      • benficiate = subject to a reduction process
      • pole = deoxidize molten metals by stirring them with a wooden pole
  11. narrow or limit
  12. put down by force or intimidation
  13. undergo meiosis
    • example: The cells reduce
    • lexical domain: Contact - verbs of touching, hitting, tying, digging
    • more generic words: divide / part / separate = come apart
  14. reposition (a broken bone after surgery) back to its normal site
    • lexical domain: Contact - verbs of touching, hitting, tying, digging
    • more generic word: reposition = place into another position
  15. destress and thus weaken a sound when pronouncing it
  16. reduce in scope while retaining essential elements
  17. be cooked until very little liquid is left
  18. cook until very little liquid is left
  19. lessen the strength or flavor of a solution or mixture
    • lexical domain: Change - verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.
    • synonyms of reduce: cut / dilute / thin / thin out
    • more generic word: weaken = lessen the strength of
    • more specific term: water down = make less strong or intense
  20. take off weight

Alternative definition of the verb reduce


  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, legal] To convert to written form (Usage note: this verb almost always take the phrase "to writing").


  1. "Reduce" is a musical single of Vainqueur.
    • released in (19 years ago)
  2. "Reduce" is a musical album of INANNA.
    • released in (14 years ago)
  3. "Reduce" is a musical EP of Like a Stuntman.
    • released on (9 years ago)


  1. Reduce is a general-purpose computer algebra system geared towards applications in physics.
    • also known as Reduce computer algebra system
    • genres: Mathematics, Computer algebra system
    • license: BSD Licenses
  2. Reduce: Reduce-Waste prevention, or "source reduction," means consuming and throwing away less.

Phrases with Reduce

  1. Reduce to Rubble
  2. Beta Reduce

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Reduce

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewKnowledge Management in Organizations (2015)

10th International Conference, KMO 2015, Maribor, Slovenia, August 24-28, 2015, Proceedings by Lorna Uden, Marjan Heričko, I-Hsien Ting

Both these giant search engines are driven by the algorithms originated with Google's Map Reduce Framework [9]. Map Reduce is a programming model which is an associated implementation for rendering big data sets that is improved to a ...

Google previewProceedings of the 2011 2nd International Congress on Computer Applications and Computational Science (2012)

by Ford Lumban Gaol, Quang Vinh Nguyen

Map Reduce is a programming model and software framework for writing applications that rapidly process vast amounts of data in parallel on large clusters of compute nodes. Users define a map function with key/value parameters to generate ...

Google previewShackelford's Surgery of the Alimentary Tract (2012)

by Charles J. Yeo, David W McFadden, John H. Pemberton, Jeffrey H. Peters, Jeffrey B. Matthews

C, The next loop to reduce is the duodenum, as is normal. By projecting from this diagram, one can see that the reduction of the cecum last, as also is normal, will throw the proximal transverse colon in front of all of the other structures.

Google previewNoSQL For Dummies (2015)

by Adam Fowler

Map/reduce is a way to spread workloads across nodes, assimilate them, and boil them down to unique data before passing it to the client. In a database context, this means farming a query to all the nodes that hold data for that database and ...

Google previewTesting with F# (2015)

by Mikael Lundin

The reduce is a higher order function that will not use an accumulator value through the aggregation like the fold function, but uses the computation of the first two values as a seed.

Google previewThe Green Museum (2008)

A Primer on Environmental Practice by Sarah S. Brophy, Elizabeth Wylie

Reduce is the first word in the mantra because reducing what you use is the most dramatic way to help the environment. You use the least energy ...

Google previewScholarly Information Centers in ARL Libraries (1991)

REDUCE is an algebraic manipulation system for mathematical calculations that involve symbols rather than numbers. In the future SAS statistical software will be available. VMS supports several programming languages: C, Fortran, Ada, ...

Google previewManagement of Temporomandibular Disorders and Occlusion - E-Book (2014)

by Jeffrey P. Okeson

Thus the appropriate contact area to reduce is the flat surface. There is, however, one other consideration. As a fossa area is reduced, the centric cusp becomes situated more deeply in the fossa. The deeper a cusp tip is located the cusp tip ...

Google previewScience and Religion (1995)

From Conflict to Conversation by John F. Haught

IV, Confirmation The three positions just outlined have overlooked an important feature that underlies the whole project of scientific reduction, At heart, the urge to reduce is an instance of the quest for simplicity and purity that coincides with ...

Google previewNumerical Analysis (2002)

Mathematics of Scientific Computing by David Ronald Kincaid, Elliott Ward Cheney

Org REDUCE is an interactive ...

Google previewThe Universal Modern Cambist, and Foreign and Domestic Commercial Calculator; Or, A Dictionary of Numerical, Arithmetical, and Mathematical Facts, Tables, Data, Formulas ... (1875)

To reduce a fraction in a higher to whole numbers in lower denominations. Rule. — Multiply the numerator of the given fraction by the number of parts of the next lower denomination that make onk of the given fraction, and ...



To reduce a fraction in a higher to whole numbers in lower denomi nations. Rule. — Multiply the numerator of the given fraction by the number of parts of the next lower denomination that make one of the given fraction, and divide the ...

Google previewEncyclopaedia Britannica; Or A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Miscellaneous Literature (1823)

Reduce a” to the form of the cube root. Here the exponent 2 must be reduced to the form of a fraction having 3 for a denominator, which will 6 be the fraction #; therefore a'-a' = Va. Ex. 2. Reduce 5 to the form of the cube root, and 3ab" to the ...

Google previewEncyclopaedia Londinensis, Or, Universal Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Literature (1810)

Reduce 24, 43, 53, and 73, each to an improper fraction.

Google previewEncyclopedia of Public Relations (2004)

by Robert L. Heath

The concept of uncertainty reduction suggests that individuals are motivated to seek information to reduce uncertainty. The concept has implications for exploring communication as a means for resolving incompatibilities and inconsistencies in ...

Google previewA Dictionary of Environment and Conservation (2013)

by Chris Park, Michael Allaby

Kyoto mechanism KYOTO PROTOCOL An international agreement that sets limits on the *emission of *greenhouse gases into the *atmosphere, in order to reduce the threat of *global warming by *air pollution. It was drawn up under the ...

Google previewDrugs in American Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture, and the Law [3 volumes] (2014)

by Nancy E. Marion, Willard M. Oliver

the strategy is a summary of the president's policies to reduce drug An employee of the oakland cannabis Buyers ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Reduce

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Usage statistics about reduce

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English from the later part of the 20th century, both spoken and written.

Usage statistics for the verb reduce:

spoken English27.48%written English72.52% imaginative writing7.87%informational writing92.13%

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb reduce:


Comparison of usage frequency between the verb reduce and its most common antonym:


Photos about Reduce

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Reduce Speed

"Reduce Speed! Save Lives" campaign

Photo credit: ABSattar

If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of Red and white warning sign REDUCE WEIGHT NOW in front of blue sky, symbol for the health risks or dangers of overweightSmall photo of Reduce pollution and reduce global warming.Small photo of The tree grows a day. Reduce pollution and reduce global warming.Small photo of The tree grows a day. Reduce pollution and reduce global warming.Small photo of Tree grows one day. Reduce pollution and reduce global warming.Small photo of Nurse wrap wrist with elastic Bandage provides patients with reduced mobility to reduce swelling.Small photo of Food to reduce the waistline. More...

Video language resources about Reduce

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View more videos about Beta Reduce.

See also the pronunciation examples of Reduce!

Quotes about Reduce

If we can reduce the cost and improve the quality of medical technology through advances in nanotechnology, we can more widely address the medical conditions that are prevalent and reduce the level of human suffering. (Ralph Merkle)
more quotes about reduce...

Scrabble value of R1E1D2U1C3E1

The value of this 6-letter word is 9 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Anagrams of REDUCE

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See also the blanagrams of Reduce!

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