reduce (one) to (something)

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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 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
References in classic literature ?
It is this which has chiefly contributed to reduce us to a situation, which affords ample cause both of mortification to ourselves, and of triumph to our enemies.
We don't allow the religious right to reduce us to a parody of what our lives are all about," wrote another.
A rights-based culture tends to reduce us to a state of dependency.
Free trade is the implement of the United Nations to reduce us to impotence.
The sight of ourselves, cigarettes dangling from our lips, trying to hall a cab in a residential San Francisco neighborhood, was enough to reduce us to hysterics.
Kilda" presented an assortment of works that dealt with bereavement and the regressive, helpless condition it can reduce us to.
If they ban turbo-props, it will reduce us to third-class.