diminish


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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 ?
Add your name, address and daytime telephone number and send (to be received no later than Thursda y September 10), to: Diminish Competition, The Birmingham Post, PO Box 30, Birmingham B4 6BA.
So, a repeating pattern made up of identical geometric shapes in the hyperbolic plane transforms, when represented in a Poincare model, into an array of shapes that diminish in size as they get closer to the disk's bounding circle.
Avoidance of elements that can substantially diminish this benefit is paramount and should be considered prior to finalization of a sublease.
If such exposures trigger the disease at a younger age, or in response to a smaller weight gain, they could have "calamitous" consequences for health care costs, she notes, and diminish the quality of life for increasing numbers of people.
We are encouraged by our research demonstrating the ability of orally dosed small molecules from our IGF-1R program to selectively diminish or halt tumor growth in preclinical colorectal cancer models," stated Neil Gibson, Ph.
Tom Henyey, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center at the University of Southern California, said that while distance played the most important role, scientists also will need to investigate whether the energy radiated straight to the surface or at an angle that caused it to diminish.
These disorders can significantly diminish one's quality of life and profoundly affect social relationships.
Feeding will not diminish hunting and tends to form high densities of cats that adversely impact wildlife.
As the Westchester County real estate market continues to improve, the number of large blocks is expected to diminish.
While the office market has suffered a great deal by the down turn in real estate values from the late 80s, the workout of problem loans by Banks, insurance companies and foreign entities reached a frenzy in early 1994 causing many Bank Boards of Directors and Insurance Companies to diminish their interest in this sector.
In deference to Karen Crouse and the baseball scribes seeking to diminish Mark McGwire's achievements, I hereby announce that I will forego my ritualistic use of Metamucil lest my daily accomplishments be diminished.
Tenants requiring 60,000 square feet or more of premier space are faced with limited opportunities, which, over the next six to 12 months will continue to diminish.