reduce (one) to (something)(redirected from reduce (someone) to (something))
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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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."
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.