1. To make smaller in any manner; to reduce in bulk or amount; to lessen; opposed to augment or increase. Not diminish, but rather increase, the debt. (Barrow)
2. To lessen the authority or dignity of; to put down; to degrade; to abase; to weaken. This doth nothing diminish their opinion. (Robynson (mores Utopia)) I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations. (Ezek. Xxix. 15) O thou . . . at whose sight all the stars hide their diminished heads. (Milton)
3. To make smaller by a half step; to make (an interval) less than minor; as, a diminished seventh.
4. To take away; to subtract. Neither shall ye diminish aught from it. (Deut. Iv. 2) Diminished column, one whose upper diameter is less than the lower. Diminished, or Diminishing, scale, a scale of gradation used in finding the different points for drawing the spiral curve of the volute. Diminishing rule, a stile which is narrower in one part than in another, as in many glazed doors.
Synonym: to decrease, lessen, abate, reduce, contract, curtail, impair, degrade. See decrease.
Origin: Pref. Di- (= L. Dis-) – minish: cf. L. Diminuere, f. Diminuer, oe. Diminuen. See dis-, and Minish.