Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: NUTRITION

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

reduce

verb
     
re‧duce S1 W1
1 [transitive] to make something smaller or less in size, amount, or price [= 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]DFC if you reduce a liquid, or if it reduces, you boil it so that there is less of it
3 [intransitive] especially American EnglishDCDFN to become thinner by losing weight [↪ diet]
4

be in reduced circumstances

old-fashioned to be poorer than you were before

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.
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