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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce dwindle (audio)

Dictionary definition of dwindle

To gradually decrease in size, quantity, strength, or importance over time.
"The town's population began to dwindle after the factory closed down."

Detailed meaning of dwindle

When something dwindles, it undergoes a process of gradual diminishment or reduction, resulting in a smaller or lessened state. This term is often used to describe the shrinking or depletion of resources, such as dwindling water supplies during a drought, dwindling financial reserves, or dwindling populations of endangered species. It can also apply to the waning of interest, enthusiasm, or support for a particular idea or cause. "Dwindle" underscores the idea of a continuous, often slow, decline or decrease, highlighting the diminishing nature of the subject in question as it gradually becomes less substantial or significant.

Example sentences containing dwindle

1. As the evening wore on, the campfire began to dwindle.
2. When the rain started, the crowd at the outdoor concert started to dwindle.
3. If you don't water the plants regularly, their health will dwindle.
4. The number of participants in the club will dwindle if we don’t have engaging activities.
5. Without conservation efforts, the population of endangered species will dwindle.
6. As the year progresses, my motivation to stick to my resolutions tends to dwindle.

History and etymology of dwindle

The verb 'dwindle' has its origins in Middle English, where it was spelled as 'dwindlen.' While its exact origin is not entirely clear, it is believed to have been influenced by Old English words like 'dwinan' and 'dwine,' both of which mean 'to waste away' or 'to become smaller.' Over time, 'dwindle' evolved in Middle English to describe the gradual decrease in size, quantity, strength, or importance of something over time. The etymology of 'dwindle' reflects the idea of something slowly wasting away or diminishing, emphasizing the gradual nature of the reduction it describes, whether it's in physical size or in significance.

Quiz: Find the meaning of dwindle

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Further usage examples of dwindle

1. She noticed her savings account begin to dwindle after several large purchases.
2. Without proper marketing, interest in the product will dwindle.
3. If we don't restock, our inventory will soon dwindle.
4. The once-thriving town saw its population dwindle as the local factory shut down.
5. When the tourists leave at the end of summer, the local shops' revenue starts to dwindle.
6. If the rumors are true, support for the candidate may dwindle.
7. Unless we conserve water, the town's supply will dwindle during the drought.
8. As the seasons change, the days dwindle in length.
9. The excitement among the fans started to dwindle as the game entered its final minutes.
10. As the stream dried up, the water supply for the animals began to dwindle.
11. The chance to win the lottery will dwindle as more people enter.
12. When the children grow up and move away, the need for such a big house may dwindle.
13. With excessive logging, the forest's resources will eventually dwindle.
14. If you don’t maintain your car properly, its performance will dwindle over time.


shrink, grow, increase, expand


Decline and Disintegrate, Decay and Degeneration, Reduce and Weaken

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