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dwindle

[dwin-dl] /ˈdwɪn dl/
verb (used without object), dwindled, dwindling.
1.
to become smaller and smaller; shrink; waste away:
His vast fortune has dwindled away.
2.
to fall away, as in quality; degenerate.
verb (used with object), dwindled, dwindling.
3.
to make smaller and smaller; cause to shrink:
Failing health dwindles ambition.
Origin of dwindle
1590-1600
1590-1600; dwine (now dial.) to waste away (Middle English; Old English dwīnan; cognate with Middle Dutch dwīnen to languish, Old Norse dvīna to pine away) + -le
Related forms
undwindling, adjective
Synonyms
1. diminish, decline, lessen, wane. See decrease. 3. lessen.
Antonyms
1. increase. 3. magnify.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for dwindle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • My optimism of the night before was dashed; this voracious growth wasnt going to dwindle away of itself.

  • "Over all, ninety-six per cent for Mr. Smith," dwindle said for the fourth time.

    Master of None Lloyd Neil Goble
  • Everywhere the tendency is for the superior stock to dwindle till it becomes a small aristocracy.

    Outspoken Essays William Ralph Inge
  • "I hope we don't have to use pressure, sir," dwindle replied.

    Master of None Lloyd Neil Goble
  • Questions become great or dwindle into nothingness according as they affect the honour and the good of the Empire.

    Lotus Buds Amy Carmichael
British Dictionary definitions for dwindle

dwindle

/ˈdwɪndəl/
verb
1.
to grow or cause to grow less in size, intensity, or number; diminish or shrink gradually
Word Origin
C16: from Old English dwīnan to waste away; related to Old Norse dvīna to pine away
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dwindle
v.

1590s, apparently diminutive and frequentative of Middle English dwinen "waste away, fade, vanish," from Old English dwinan, from Proto-Germanic *dwinanan (cf. Dutch dwijnen "to vanish," Old Norse dvina, Danish tvine, Low German dwinen), from PIE *dheu- (3) "to die" (see die (v.)). Related: Dwindled; dwindling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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