1make smaller or less in amount, degree, or size:the need for businesses to reduce coststhe workforce has been reduced to some 6,100
[no object] become smaller or less in size, amount, or degree:the number of priority homeless cases has reduced slightly
boil (a sauce or other liquid) in cooking so that it becomes thicker and more concentrated:increase the heat and reduce the liquid
[no object] chiefly North American (of a person) lose weight, typically by dieting:by May she had reduced to 9 stone
Photography make (a negative or print) less dense.
Phonetics articulate (a speech sound) in a way requiring less muscular effort, giving rise in vowels to a more central articulatory position.
2 (reduce someone/thing to) bring someone or something to (a worse or less desirable state or condition):she has been reduced to near povertythe church was reduced to rubble
(be reduced to doing something) be forced by difficult circumstances into doing something desperate:ordinary soldiers are reduced to begging
make someone helpless with (shock, anguish, or amusement):Olga was reduced to stunned silence
force someone into (obedience or submission):he reduced his grandees to due obedience
3 (reduce something to) change a substance to (a different or more basic form):it is difficult to understand how lava could have been reduced to dust
present a problem or subject in (a simplified form):he reduces unimaginable statistics to manageable proportions
convert a fraction to (the form with the lowest terms).
4 Chemistry cause to combine chemically with hydrogen:hydrogen for reducing the carbon dioxide
undergo or cause to undergo a reaction in which electrons are gained from another substance or molecule: [no object]:this compound reduces to potassium chloride [with object]:the arsenic is reduced to the trivalent conditionThe opposite of oxidize.
5restore (a dislocated part of the body) to its proper position by manipulation or surgery:Joe’s reducing a dislocated thumb
6 archaic besiege and capture (a town or fortress).
used euphemistically to refer to the state of being poor after being relatively wealthy:a divorcee living in reduced circumstances
reduce someone to the ranks
demote a non-commissioned officer to an ordinary soldier:the platoon consisted of ex-NCOs who had been reduced to the ranks for various offences