diminish


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Wikipedia.

diminishing returns

1. In economics, a yield rate (i.e., of profits, production, benefits, etc.) that fails to grow in proportion to the amount of investment, skill, time, or effort that is added. The restaurant, to combat high volumes of customers, hired a large surplus of wait staff and cooks. This led to diminishing returns, however, as the overcrowded staff was far less efficient and eventually cost the restaurant more in wages than it was earning.
2. By extension, any output or results (e.g., of a product, project, organization, etc.) that fail to increase proportionally to additional time, money, skill, or effort. Unfortunately, the show's charm has not lasted, and the infusion of zanier plots has created diminishing returns in terms of quality.
See also: diminish, return

the law of diminishing returns

1. In economics, the law that a yield rate (i.e., of profits, production, benefits, etc.) will eventually fail to grow in proportion to the amount of investment, skill, time, or effort that is added. The restaurant, to combat high volumes of customers, hired a large surplus of wait staff and cooks. The law of diminishing returns kicked in, however, as the overcrowded staff was far less efficient and eventually cost the restaurant more in wages than it was earning.
2. By extension, the idea that any output or results (e.g., of a product, project, organization, etc.) will eventually begin to fail increasing proportionally to additional time, money, skill, or effort. Unfortunately, the show's charm has not lasted, with increasingly zany plots and more characters than one can keep track of. That's just the law of diminishing returns, unfortunately. Schools feel like they have to pile on homework so students meet increasingly high targets for standardized tests, but then you rub up against the law of diminishing returns, because students can only handle so much work before they begin to burn out and perform poorly anyway.
See also: diminish, law, of, return

the law of diminishing returns

used to refer to the point at which the level of profits or benefits to be gained is reduced to less than the amount of money or energy invested.
This expression originated in the early 19th century with reference to the profits from agriculture.
See also: diminish, law, of, return
References in periodicals archive ?
Run by Chris, a qualified nurse, Diminish has been open for five years specialising in permanent hair removal, and has been registered for several years with the Care Quality Commission, The bulk of the clinic''s work is hair removal using both the Plasmalite machine and the additional Chromolite system of intensive pulse light, which has a larger lens to cover a bigger area of the skin.
His pragmatic arguments that the public good is served by forcing Disney to release Song of the South or that somehow our collective lives will be diminished by the fact that copyrighted antique movies are rotting in some warehouse somewhere ring hollow.
Robert Motherwell's literacy, in the opinion of several colleagues, diminished his art.
It would potentially diminish taxpayer rights at the very time Congress professes a commitment to enhance them.
However, while they can be useful in many ways, groups also have characteristics that can diminish their effectiveness and that of the firm.
THE police spokeswoman commenting on the closure of the mini-police station in Welsh House Farm, Quinton, says that the service to the local community will not diminish as a result (Mail, February 10).
While dependence on personal contact exists, it will diminish as electronic communication with problem-solving capabilities becomes more sophisticated.
However, measuring the "after" value is a far more complicated task than the initial property valuation because the facade preservation easement restrictions may adversely affect future property use, diminish future income and increase operating expenses.
Contrary to your implication, the above strategy does not diminish industry vehicle production levels or jobs in the U.S.
For the major economies, it would also strengthen the effectiveness of intervention when undertaken, force more actionable information exchange, protect the commitment of their central banks to price stability, and diminish the incentive to accumulate reserves, reducing distortion of capital flows.
The fact that there has yet to be another incident on the order of 9/11 doesn't diminish the potential that yet remains for catastrophic revenge attacks against civilian populations.
economic embrace with the world is working, over time, to create prosperity, not diminish it.
To provide the elderly with the best medical care possible, 21st-century doctors must learn to listen and communicate with seniors as individuals, because age is not a level playing field: Everyone's hearing doesn't diminish at age 70; not all vision is seriously impaired in later years; and, above all, not everyone over the age of 65 is destined to have catastrophic medical complications--but they all need good, basic medical care.
These factors "substantially diminish" the risk of holding the stock by itself, as well as that of combining the stock and the written call (although, admittedly, the purchased put does not reduce the risk on the written call).
It's all too easy to think that these losses diminish personal independence.