• (noun): The act or process of diminishing; a lessening or reduction.
  • (noun): The resulting reduction; decrease.
  • (noun): Music Statement of a theme in notes of lesser duration, usually one-half, of the original.

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Wordnet definitions

  • (noun): the act of decreasing or reducing something
  • (noun): the statement of a theme in notes of lesser duration (usually half the length of the original)
  • (noun): change toward something smaller or lower

Look up "diminution" to find its meanings and associations with other words and concepts


In Western music and music theory, diminution (from Medieval Latin diminutio, alteration of Latin deminutio, decrease) has four distinct meanings. Diminution may be a form of embellishment in which a long note is divided into a series of shorter, usually melodic, values (also called \"coloration\"). Diminution may also be the compositional device where a melody, theme or motif is presented in shorter note-values than were previously used. Diminution is also the term for the proportional shortening of the value of individual note-shapes in mensural notation, either by coloration or by a sign of proportion. A minor or perfect interval that is narrowed by a chromatic semitone is a diminished interval, and the process may be referred to as diminution (this, too, was sometimes referred to as \"coloration\").

Example Sentences

  • I. iii.18 (165,3) till the diminution/Of space had pointed him sharp as my needle] _The diminution of space_, is _the diminution_ of which

  • If the above seems to create an "unfair" windfall for stockholders or short term diminution of tax revenues, raise the capital gains rates.

  • I learned augmentation and diminution from the d-sharp-minor fugue in Book I of the WTC; I learned inversion from Rachmaninoff's Paganini Variations — the old stand-bys are old indeed.

  • But that diminution is contained within the House of Representatives itself whose members all suffer equally.

  • After the summer solstice, although the days are shortening in consequence of the sun's recession, their diminution is for some time scarcely perceptible, and as the days are still much longer than the nights, more heat is imparted to the earth than is lost by night-radiation.

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