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reduce (something) to rubble

To completely destroy something, either literally or figuratively. The tornado reduced whole towns to rubble. Being rejected by that famous director totally reduced my confidence to rubble.
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in reduced circumstances

At a much lower level of income or financial means. The one-time business tycoon has now been living in reduced circumstances in a small village in Norway.
See also: circumstance, reduce

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.
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reduce (one) to tears

To cause one to cry. I know it's embarrassing, but sappy movies like that always reduce me to tears.
See also: reduce, tear

reduced circumstances

A much lower level of income or financial means than one is used to. The one-time business tycoon has now been living in reduced circumstances in a small village in Norway. Our reduced circumstances have meant moving into a much smaller house in a rougher part of town.
See also: circumstance, reduce

reduce (something) by (something)

To make something smaller, weaker, narrower, etc., by some amount, degree, or margin. The government has reduced our budget by nearly 25%. Even reducing the temperature on the thermostat by a few degrees could save you hundreds on your energy bill each month.
See also: by, reduce

reduce from (something) to (something)

1. To lower something from some amount, degree, or margin to a lower one. A noun or pronoun is used between "reduce" and "from." Often used in passive constructions. We were forced to reduce our staff from 100 people to just 25 in order to stay afloat. Wow, this computer has been reduced from $1200 to just $600!
2. To diminish or weaken someone or something from some degree or position of power, strength, or effectiveness to a lower one. A noun or pronoun is used between "reduce" and "from." Often used in passive constructions. The government has reduced our agency from an effective industry regulator to a pencil-pushing façade. The film's emotional ending reduced him from a stoic, unflinching tough guy to a sobbing, blubbering mess. Seeing her after so many years reduced me from the elegant, sophisticated woman I'd spent so long perfecting to the same dopey schoolgirl I used to be.
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reduce (one) to silence

To cause one to become silent, especially after being noisy or outspoken. The loud bang reduced the entire classroom to silence. I've had my vocal critics over the years, but I have faith that my next project will reduce them all to silence.
See also: reduce, silence

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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in reduced circumstances

Euph. in poverty. After Frederick lost his position, we lived in reduced circumstances while waiting for my inheritance.
See also: circumstance, reduce

reduce someone to silence

to cause someone to be silent. The rebuke reduced him to silenceat last. Mary was reduced to silence by Jane's comments.
See also: reduce, silence

reduce someone to tears

to cause a person to cry through insults, frustration, and belittling. He scolded her so much that she was reduced to tears by the end of the meeting.
See also: reduce, tear

reduce something by something

to diminish something by a certain amount. I have to reduce your allowance by two dollars per week until you pay me back for the broken window. I will reduce the bill by a few dollars.
See also: by, reduce

reduce (something) from (something to something)

to diminish something from one degree to a lower degree. I will reduce the fine from two hundred dollars to one hundred dollars. Mary reduced her demands from a large sum to a smaller one.
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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.
See also: reduce

in reduced circumstances

used euphemistically to refer to the state of being poor after being relatively wealthy.
See also: circumstance, reduce

reˌduced ˈcircumstances

the state of being poorer than you were before. People say ‘living in reduced circumstances’ to avoid saying ‘poor’: As time passed, his reduced circumstances became more and more obvious to his friends and colleagues.
See also: circumstance, 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 periodicals archive ?
Benefits are reduced for postretirement earnings in excess of these amounts.
Testing on one of the DAFs showed system performance was not sacrificed, while compressed air was eliminated and energy consumed was reduced by over 85 HP.
Naturally, the reduced tear strength yields lower high speed test results; however, the drop off in high speed performance may be academic.
Re-supply is reduced, spare battery "dead" weight on your back is reduced and impact on unit's budget is reduced.
The benefits include a simplified design with reduced cycle times and engineering changes, resulting in a reduced life cycle cost with improved quality.
Basis is further reduced by the amount of the shareholder's deduction for depletion for any oil and gas property the S corporation holds, to the extent such deduction does not exceed the proportionate share of the adjusted basis of such property allocated to the shareholder under IP.C section 613A(c)(11)(B).
(1) Compared with nonpregnant women of the same age, pregnant and recently pregnant women aged 25-34 and 35-49 had reduced risks of death from cancer (relative risks, 0.3 for each), and those in the latter age-group had a reduced risk of death from diseases of the circulatory system (0.3).
Preexposure vaccines quickly and substantially reduced the number of new infections; the median cumulative percentage of infections prevented (after 10 years of vaccination) was 46% (interquartile range [IQR] 40%-53%).
Heavy metals have been eliminated in camera production, the amount of batteries needed has been reduced and camera mass has been decreased by 50 percent.
In 1984, Congress noticed that, historically, the excise tax collected exceeded the total costs of administering the exempt organization program and provided a way for foundations to pay a reduced rate (1%).
In the latter environment, benefits are seen in reduced chart pulls per physician, reduced total transcription costs and improved charge capture and revenue collection.
As a result, Nortel has freed up considerable server resources for other applications, reduced storage space by more than 90%, and has seen a dramatic increase in end-user efficiency.
31, h in taxable income will he reduced by at least $70,000--the total of his purchases.
In fact, the system worked wonderfully because it deterred tampering, reduced waste, and helped dramatically reduce errors associated with passing medication.