Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

reduce (something) to rubble

To completely destroy something, either literally or figuratively. The tornado reduced whole towns to rubble. Being rejected by that famous director totally reduced my confidence to rubble.
See also: reduce

in reduced circumstances

At a much lower level of income or financial means. The one-time business tycoon has now been living in reduced circumstances in a small village in Norway.
See also: circumstance, reduce

reduce (one) to (something)

To bring one to a lesser or worse state than they are typically in. Poverty reduced him to homelessness for a brief period of time.
See also: reduce

reduce (one) to tears

To cause one to cry. I know it's embarrassing, but sappy movies like that always reduce me to tears.
See also: reduce, tear

reduced circumstances

A much lower level of income or financial means than one is used to. The one-time business tycoon has now been living in reduced circumstances in a small village in Norway. Our reduced circumstances have meant moving into a much smaller house in a rougher part of town.
See also: circumstance, reduce

in reduced circumstances

Euph. in poverty. After Frederick lost his position, we lived in reduced circumstances while waiting for my inheritance.
See also: circumstance, reduce

reduce someone to silence

to cause someone to be silent. The rebuke reduced him to silenceat last. Mary was reduced to silence by Jane's comments.
See also: reduce, silence

reduce someone to tears

to cause a person to cry through insults, frustration, and belittling. He scolded her so much that she was reduced to tears by the end of the meeting.
See also: reduce, tear

reduce something by something

to diminish something by a certain amount. I have to reduce your allowance by two dollars per week until you pay me back for the broken window. I will reduce the bill by a few dollars.
See also: by, reduce

reduce (something) from (something to something)

to diminish something from one degree to a lower degree. I will reduce the fine from two hundred dollars to one hundred dollars. Mary reduced her demands from a large sum to a smaller one.
See also: reduce

reduced to doing something

brought into a certain humble condition or state. The poor man was reduced to begging for food.
See also: reduce

in reduced circumstances

used euphemistically to refer to the state of being poor after being relatively wealthy.
See also: circumstance, reduce

reˌduced ˈcircumstances

the state of being poorer than you were before. People say ‘living in reduced circumstances’ to avoid saying ‘poor’: As time passed, his reduced circumstances became more and more obvious to his friends and colleagues.
See also: circumstance, reduce

reduce to

1. To decrease something to some level: The drought reduced the stream to a trickle.
2. To bring someone to some humbler, weaker, difficult, or forced state or condition: The illness had reduced them almost to emaciation. The sight of her mother reduced her to tears. The army reduced him from a command post to a desk job.
3. To bring someone to such a humble, weak, or desperate state or condition that he or she does something drastic: The Depression reduced many to begging on the street.
4. To damage or destroy something, leaving it in some lesser state: The blaze reduced the warehouse to ashes.
5. To make something shorter and simpler; summarize something: Their entire business philosophy can be reduced to "The customer is always right."
See also: reduce
References in periodicals archive ?
LL86 of 2005 also requires less substantial construction projects involving the installation or replacement of energy systems to reduce energy use.
The most cost effective way to reduce clothing installation cost is to ensure that a machine is never idled solely as a result of a necessary clothing change," added AstenJohnson's Daniel Hedou, strategic account leader.
It provides that, to the extent excluded COD income is not applied to reduce the tax attributes attributable to the member that realizes the excluded COD income (including the application of the look-through rule above), such amount must be applied to reduce the remaining consolidated tax attributes of the group as provided in Sec.
The manager of public works in Greater Sudbury, Paul Graham, is supportive of the accord and believes people should be looking towards alternative energy sources in order to reduce GHGs.
The voluntary plan calls for downsizing classes in English or math - adding one more course to an existing program established by the Morgan-Hart law that provides financial incentives to school districts to reduce class sizes in grades nine through 12 for math, science, English and social sciences.
Noise is vibration and automotive engineers are constantly looking for materials that serve to dampen vibration and hence reduce noise.
It provides a way to easily offset that which we cannot reduce.
Biotechnology process changes in the textile finishing sector can reduce water usage by about 17% to 18%.
The challenge, according to Brooks, is to identify and measure costs, and then to employ effective methods to reduce them.
The most popular solution is to add a processing aid to the resin to coat metal die surfaces and reduce the coefficient of friction.
108(b), the taxpayer must then reduce its tax attributes (e.
presented 3D Systems' Thermojet printer that can reduce the time required to introduce a new product via investment casting (Fig.
First, the Council expects the Act will reduce New York City's electricity consumption, air pollution, and water use.