Magnify vs Diminish - What's the difference?

magnify | diminish |

In lang=en terms the difference between magnify and diminish

is that magnify is to make (something) appear larger by means of a lens, magnifying glass, telescope etc while diminish is to disappear gradually.

As verbs the difference between magnify and diminish

is that magnify is to praise, glorify (someone or something, especially god) while diminish is to make smaller.




  • To praise, glorify (someone or something, especially god).
  • * 1526 , (William Tyndale), trans. Bible , Acts X:
  • For they herde them speake with tonges, and magnify God.
  • * 1644 , (John Milton), (Aeropagitica) :
  • For he who freely magnifies what hath been nobly done, and fears not to declare as freely what might be done better, gives ye the best cov'nant of his fidelity [...].
  • To make (something) larger or more important.
  • * Grew
  • The least error in a small quantitybe proportionately magnified .
  • * {{quote-book, year=2006, author=(Edwin Black), title=Internal Combustion
  • , chapter=2 citation , passage=But through the oligopoly, charcoal fuel proliferated throughout London's trades and industries. By the 1200s, brewers and bakers, tilemakers, glassblowers, pottery producers, and a range of other craftsmen all became hour-to-hour consumers of charcoal. This only magnified the indispensable nature of the oligopolists.}}
  • To make (someone or something) appear greater or more important than it is; to intensify, exaggerate.
  • To make (something) appear larger by means of a lens, magnifying glass, telescope etc.
  • * {{quote-magazine, year=2013, month=July-August, author= Catherine Clabby
  • , magazine=(American Scientist), title= Focus on Everything , passage=Not long ago, it was difficult to produce photographs of tiny creatures with every part in focus. That’s because the lenses that are excellent at magnifying tiny subjects produce a narrow depth of field. A photo processing technique called focus stacking has changed that.}}
  • (intransitive, slang, obsolete) To have effect; to be of importance or significance.
  • (Spectator)

    Derived terms

    * magnifier * magnifying glass * magnification




  • To make smaller.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2012-12-14
  • , author=Simon Jenkins, authorlink=Simon Jenkins, volume=188, issue=2, page=23 , date=2012-12-21, magazine=(The Guardian Weekly) , title= We mustn't overreact to North Korea boys' toys , passage=The threat of terrorism to the British lies in the overreaction to it of British governments. Each one in turn clicks up the ratchet of surveillance, intrusion and security. Each one diminishes liberty.}}
  • To become smaller.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-07-20, volume=408, issue=8845, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= Old soldiers? , passage=Whether modern, industrial man is less or more warlike than his hunter-gatherer ancestors is impossible to determine.
  • To lessen the authority or dignity of; to put down; to degrade; to abase; to weaken.
  • * Robynson (More's Utopia)
  • This doth nothing diminish their opinion.
  • * Bible, Ezekiel xxix. 15
  • I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations.
  • * Milton
  • O thou at whose sight all the stars / Hide their diminished heads.
  • To taper.
  • To disappear gradually.
  • To take away; to subtract.
  • * Bible, Deuteronomy iv. 2
  • Neither shall ye diminish aught from it.
  • (music) To reduce a perfect or minor interval by a semitone.
  • Derived terms

    * law of diminishing returns