Minimize vs Reduce

Some words have meanings that are related or close to each other causing some people to misuse or even interchange them. The terms minimize and reduce are a good example of this situation since both of them pertain to making things smaller. This post will help you distinguish between them and enable you to use them more accurately in your sentences.

The word reduce is primarily used as a verb meaning “to diminish in size, amount, extent, or number,” “to become diminished or lessened,” or “change a substance to a different or more basic form.”

Seven tips to reduce the chance of suffering from coronary heart disease

McHenry County won’t dismiss or reduce formerly criminal, low-level marijuana convictions
Northwest Herald

IMF, ADB, Australia and New Zealand Seek Solutions to Reduce Remittance Costs in the Pacific
International Monetary Fund

Moreover, it may also be used as a verb to mean “to bring someone or something to a lower or weaker state, condition, or role.”

‘Women Reduced To Mere Spectators For Past Two Decades’ – M J Denton
Foroyaa online

Reduced to a soulless docu-fiction
The Hindu

‘Bribery Has Reduced Judges to Mere Commodities’
Liberian Daily Observer

On the other hand, the term minimize functions as a verb which means “to reduce or keep to a minimum” or “to represent or estimate at less than the true value or importance.”

In Fight Over Science Education in Idaho, Lawmakers Move to Minimize Climate Change
New York Times

How to minimize the dust fallout when having wood floors refinished
Washington Post

How more Catholic schools are looking to minimize screen time
Catholic News Agency

In computing, minimize as a verb means “to replace a window on a computer display with a small button or icon which will restore the window when selected.”

macOS: Tips on Minimizing Windows into the Dock

You can also use Win + down arrow to switch an app from full screen to “windowed” and pressing again will minimize it.

You can go in the opposite direction as well—swipe down with three fingers to minimize all open windows and see the desktop.

Now that we’ve discussed the difference between minimize and reduce, you should be able to incorporate them into your sentences. Keep in mind that to reduce is to diminish in number while to minimize is to bring down to the smallest possible amount.