Meaning of REDUCE in English


re ‧ duce S1 W1 /rɪˈdjuːs $ rɪˈduːs/ BrE AmE verb

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: reducere 'to lead back' , from ducere 'to lead' ]

1 . [transitive] to make something smaller or less in size, amount, or price SYN cut ⇨ reduction :

The governor announced a new plan to reduce crime.

The helmet law should reduce injuries in motorcycle accidents.

Small businesses will need to reduce costs in order to survive.

reduce something by something

The workforce has been reduced by half.

reduce something (from something) to something

All the shirts were reduced to £10.

The new bridge should reduce travelling time from 50 minutes to 15 minutes.

2 . [intransitive and transitive] if you reduce a liquid, or if it reduces, you boil it so that there is less of it

3 . [intransitive] especially American English to become thinner by losing weight ⇨ diet

4 . be in reduced circumstances old-fashioned to be poorer than you were before

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■ adverbs

▪ greatly/substantially/considerably reduce

He has greatly reduced the political power of the armed forces.

▪ significantly reduce

Their symptoms were significantly reduced.

▪ dramatically/drastically reduce

They are committed to drastically reducing the size and cost of government.

▪ sharply reduce

Medical progress has sharply reduced death rates.

▪ gradually reduce

The aim is to gradually reduce the number of troops in the area.

• • •


■ to reduce prices, numbers, or amounts

▪ reduce to make the price, amount, or size of something less or smaller:

The price was reduced by 50%.


We need to reduce the amount of salt in our diet.

▪ cut to reduce something, especially by a large amount – used about prices, costs, jobs, or the time needed to do something:

Companies are always looking for ways to cut costs.


The journey time will be cut to under 2 hours.


Staff numbers have been cut by half to about 150.

▪ lower to reduce the level, limit, or amount of something. Lower sounds rather formal:

The voting age was lowered to 18.


The government decided to lower interest rates by 0.5%.


After twenty minutes, lower the temperature to 150 degrees.

▪ bring something down to reduce something such as prices or costs, or reduce the level of something. Bring something down is less formal than lower :

The government wants to bring down the level of inflation.


The company is trying to bring its costs down.

▪ slash informal to reduce an amount or price by a very large amount – used especially in newspapers and advertisements:

Public spending has been slashed over the past two years.


Prices slashed for one week only!

▪ cut something back to reduce the amount of something – used especially about people deciding to spend less, do less, or use less of something:

The education budget has been cut back again.


I need to cut back on my workload.

▪ downsize to reduce the number of people employed in order to reduce costs – used about a company or organization:

The company is planning to downsize its European operations.

▪ scale something down/back to reduce the size or the amount of money that is being spent on something:

The research programme has been scaled down.


The navy is being scaled down.

▪ relieve/ease to make pain or feelings less unpleasant:

The drug is used to relieve pain.


A joke can help to ease the tension.

▪ alleviate formal to reduce pain or suffering, or make a problem less serious:

You can buy various medicines to alleviate the symptoms of flu.


The new road was supposed to alleviate the congestion problem.

reduce somebody/something to something phrasal verb

1 . reduce somebody to tears/silence etc to make someone cry, be silent etc:

She was reduced to tears in front of her students.

2 . reduce somebody to doing something to make someone do something they would rather not do, especially when it involves behaving or living in a way that is not as good as before:

Eventually Charlotte was reduced to begging on the streets.

3 . reduce something to ashes/rubble/ruins to destroy something, especially a building, completely:

A massive earthquake reduced the city to rubble.

4 . to change something into a shorter simpler form:

Many jobs can be reduced to a few simple points.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.