- Diminish is defined as to make something seem smaller or less important.
An example of diminish is to downplay the achievement of receiving a law degree from Harvard.
- to make, or make seem, smaller; reduce in size, degree, importance, etc.; lessen
- Archit. to cause to taper
- Music to reduce (a perfect or a minor interval) by a half step
Origin of diminishMiddle English diminishen, a blend of diminuen, to reduce (; from Old French diminuer ; from Classical Latin diminuere, variant, variety of deminuere ; from de-, from + minuere, to lessen ; from minus, small) and amp; minishen, to make smaller ; from Old French menusier ; from Vulgar Latin an unverified form minutiare ; from Classical Latin minutus, minute
- to become smaller or less
- Archit. to taper
verbdi·min·ished, di·min·ish·ing, di·min·ish·es
- a. To make smaller or less; reduce or lessen. See Synonyms at decrease.b. To detract from the authority, reputation, or prestige of: “Her upper-class perfection &ellipsis; somehow diminished me” (Shirley Abbott).
- To cause to taper.
- Music To reduce (a perfect or minor interval) by a semitone.
- To become smaller or less.
- To taper.
Origin of diminishMiddle English diminishen, blend of diminuen, to lessen (from Old French diminuer, from Latin dīminuere, variant of dēminuere : dē-, de- + minuere, to lessen) and minishen, to reduce (from Old French minuiser, from Vulgar Latin *minūtiāre, from Latin minūtia, smallness, from minūtus, small, from past participle of minuere); see mei-2 in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present diminishes, present participle diminishing, simple past and past participle diminished)
From Old French diminuer.