Definition of REDUCE


Reduce is a verb that denotes the action of making something smaller, fewer, or less in quantity, size, or magnitude. It involves decreasing or diminishing the extent, amount, or intensity of something, often with the aim of improving efficiency, conserving resources, or achieving a specific outcome.

Decreasing Quantity or Size: Reduce commonly refers to lowering the quantity or size of something, such as reducing the number of items, decreasing the volume of a substance, or shrinking the dimensions of an object. This action can be achieved through various means, including consolidation, elimination, compression, or resizing.

Minimizing Waste and Consumption: Reduce is frequently associated with waste reduction and resource conservation efforts aimed at minimizing the generation of waste and the consumption of natural resources. Strategies for waste reduction include reducing packaging, reusing materials, recycling, composting, and adopting eco-friendly practices to minimize environmental impact.

Lowering Costs and Expenses: Reduce also pertains to reducing costs, expenses, or expenditures in business, finance, and personal finance contexts. Organizations and individuals may seek to reduce expenses by optimizing processes, streamlining operations, negotiating lower prices, or eliminating unnecessary spending to improve financial efficiency and sustainability.

Mitigating Risks and Hazards: Reduce can involve mitigating risks, hazards, or negative consequences by taking preventive measures or implementing control measures to minimize potential harm or damage. Risk reduction strategies may include implementing safety protocols, conducting risk assessments, and investing in protective measures to enhance safety and security.

Achieving Efficiency and Optimization: Reduce is often associated with achieving efficiency and optimization in various contexts, including manufacturing, production, energy consumption, and workflow management. By reducing waste, redundancy, or inefficiencies, organizations can improve productivity, performance, and profitability while minimizing environmental impact.

Reduce is a versatile verb that encompasses the action of making something smaller, fewer, or less in quantity, size, or magnitude. Whether applied to waste reduction, cost-cutting, risk mitigation, efficiency improvement, or resource conservation, reducing plays a crucial role in promoting sustainability, efficiency, and effectiveness in various domains of human activity.

Examples of REDUCE in a sentence

  • The company aims to reduce its carbon footprint by implementing sustainable practices.
  • Eating smaller portions can help reduce calorie intake and promote weight loss.
  • The government launched a campaign to reduce plastic waste by encouraging recycling.
  • Energy-efficient appliances can help reduce electricity consumption and lower utility bills.
  • To combat pollution, factories must find ways to reduce emissions into the environment.
  • Taking public transportation instead of driving alone can help reduce traffic congestion.
  • The doctor recommended medication to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.
  • Conservation efforts are underway to reduce deforestation and protect natural habitats.

Etymology of REDUCE

The term reduce embarks on a linguistic journey, tracing its origins through centuries of scientific, mathematical, and practical development. Rooted in Latin and French influences, it has evolved into a versatile term that signifies the action of making something smaller, simpler, or more manageable.

  • Latin Roots: The word reduce is derived from the Latin verb “reducere,” which combines the prefix “re-” meaning “back” or “again,” and the verb “ducere,” meaning “to lead” or “to bring.” In Latin, “reducere” conveyed the idea of leading or bringing something back to a previous state or condition.
  • Old French Influence: During the Middle English period, the term reduce was enriched by the influence of Old French, where “reduire” meant “to bring back” or “to restore.” This sense of restoration or returning something to a simpler or more basic form contributed to the development of the term in English.
  • Mathematical and Scientific Applications: In mathematics and science, reduce is used to describe the process of simplifying equations, fractions, or expressions to their simplest or most basic form. It involves eliminating unnecessary elements or variables to clarify and streamline calculations or analyses.
  • Practical Usage: Beyond its mathematical and scientific connotations, reduce is commonly used in everyday language to describe actions aimed at minimizing, decreasing, or diminishing something in size, quantity, or intensity. It can refer to reducing waste, reducing expenses, reducing risk, or reducing the complexity of a task or problem.
  • Environmental and Social Contexts: In contemporary discourse, reduce is often associated with environmental conservation and sustainable living practices. It encourages individuals and communities to reduce their ecological footprint by consuming less, conserving resources, and minimizing waste generation.

Reduce stands as a term that reflects humanity’s ongoing quest for simplicity, efficiency, and sustainability in various aspects of life. From its Latin and French origins to its modern-day applications in mathematics, science, and environmental stewardship, the word embodies the concept of simplification and optimization that is valued across disciplines and cultures.


  • Minimize
  • Diminish
  • Decrease
  • Cut
  • Lower
  • Lessen
  • Mitigate
  • Shrink


  • Increase
  • Expand
  • Raise
  • Augment
  • Boost
  • Grow
  • Enlarge
  • Amplify


  • Reduction
  • Downsizing
  • Trim
  • Contraction
  • Slimming
  • Consolidation
  • Compression
  • Decline

🌐 🇬🇧 REDUCE in other languages

Terms of Use

Privacy & Cookies


Who We Are

Main Sections


Geographical Locations



Let´s Talk



® 2024