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What I meant by "diminish" is the reduction in value of something abstract.

For example:

The purpose of the principle is to set a standard of morality according to the promotion or __ of happiness among the individuals.

The blanks above should be filled with the noun of the verb "diminish".

Based on what I found on several sources on the internet, I found the noun: decrease & decline. But I cannot replace the blanks with "decrease" or "decline" because it seems to match in more concrete context such as numbers, graphs, etc. (If I don't sense it wrong).

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If the sum of individuals in the society either promote happiness or diminish happiness, the standard of morality in that society will be valued according to both aspects.. –  AndonDraif Nov 30 '11 at 13:58
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Why can't you just use "reduction"? –  user362 Nov 30 '11 at 14:10
    
It is not really intended to be increase and decrease. By diminish, I would like to mean to regard happiness as something less valuable. –  AndonDraif Nov 30 '11 at 14:10
    
@Al Everett As a foreigner, I sense "reduction" as something related to numbers, is that wrong? –  AndonDraif Nov 30 '11 at 14:17
    
It's not wrong, but it's not that exclusive. "Reduces swelling"--or, for your purposes, a "reduction in swelling"--is a perfectly reasonable statement and has nothing to do with numbers. It just means that something will be less swollen. –  user362 Nov 30 '11 at 15:25
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closed as general reference by Hugo, Matt Эллен, Jasper Loy, simchona, kiamlaluno Dec 1 '11 at 0:53

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

4 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

You may use diminution. It's the noun form of the verb diminish.

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Now I really can't tell the difference between diminution and diminishment. Why do you use diminution instead of diminishment? –  AndonDraif Nov 30 '11 at 14:22
    
Diminution is much more common. You can see this NGram. You can also check OneLook where diminution is found in lots of dictionaries. Finally, search Google for both terms separately and compare the number of results. –  Mehper C. Palavuzlar Nov 30 '11 at 14:45
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This is the NGram showing the results between 2000 and 2008. –  Mehper C. Palavuzlar Nov 30 '11 at 14:48
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Or, if you are trying to create a semblance of a cadence in you writing, you could use Demotion

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The noun of diminish is diminishment.

eta: sorry, one noun form is as above.

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Have you considered "diminishing" in your sentence?

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