reduce (one) to (doing something)

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reduce (one) to (doing something)

To cause, force, or bring one to perform some humble, unbefitting, or undignified action or behavior. Often used in passive constructions. I can't believe I was reduced to begging for my job when they threatened to fire me. Those idiotic lawmen will never reduce me to pleading for my life.
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reduced to doing something

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

v.
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