De*crease" (?), v. i. [imp. &
p. p. Decreased (?); p. pr. & vb.
n. Decreasing.] [OE. decrecen, fr. OF.
decreistre, F. décroître, or from the OF.
noun (see Decrease, n.), fr. L.
decrescere to grow less; de + crescere to grow.
See Crescent, and cf. Increase.] To grow less, --
opposed to increase; to be diminished gradually, in size,
degree, number, duration, etc., or in strength, quality, or
excellence; as, they days decrease in length from June to
He must increase, but I must
decrease. John iii. 30.
Syn. -- To Decrease, Diminish. Things
usually decrease or fall off by degrees, and from within, or
through some cause which is imperceptible; as, the flood
decreases; the cold decreases; their affection has
decreased. Things commonly diminish by an influence
from without, or one which is apparent; as, the army was
diminished by disease; his property is diminishing
through extravagance; their affection has diminished since
their separation their separation. The turn of thought, however, is
often such that these words may be interchanged.
The olive leaf, which certainly them told Drayton.
The flood decreased.
Crete's ample fields diminish to our eye;
Before the Boreal blasts the vessels fly.
De*crease", v. t. To cause to grow
less; to diminish gradually; as, extravagance decreases one's
That might decrease their present
De*crease", n. [OE. decrees, OF.
decreis, fr. decreistre. See Decrease,
v.] 1. A becoming less;
gradual diminution; decay; as, a decrease of revenue or of
2. The wane of the moon.