When water comes out of a faucet at the bottom of a tank, it comes out quickly first and then it tapers off. Is there an adverb for such a case?

  • This seems like a very complex idea for a single word (not that words don't encode complex ideas, just... I don't see this one seeing enough use to become part of the language). I can think of a few that describe the process of diminishing volume, but not that it began with a flood and ended in a trickle. This is the sort of thing usually left to clauses. – Wlerin Apr 2 '14 at 22:21
  • Apparently we need tunable adverbs. – Oldcat Apr 2 '14 at 22:27
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    The verb - to peter out? Not dissimilar from taper off, I realise. – mjsqu Apr 2 '14 at 23:02
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    And diminishing. – bib Apr 3 '14 at 2:28
  • One Google result for deacceleratingly: 'the universe expands deacceleratingly'. I've heard people say that if it's been used, it's a word. I wouldn't use it unless I wanted a whimsical effect. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 3 '14 at 7:51

Let's face it, there is no unclumsy adverb for this. Go with a verb. The stream dies off, loses momentum, dries up are all possible. So is your very own tapers off, and the peters out suggested in a comment. The pressure drops down. Custom-tailored, more colorful metaphors are possible as well, like loses dedication, gets lazy, gives up, or any number of others. Try as you might, you won't get that kind of flexibility with an adverb.

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How about "sinkingly," as in "Snow falls down sinkingly?"

Random House


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There are a few phrases that get close to this meaning but the more accurate terms are somewhat technical.

decreasingly — becoming less or fewer; diminishing.

logarithmically — something that changes according to logarithmic growth

The major issue with these terms is that they sound weird and the meanings are not very clear:

The decreasingly escaping water.

The water is escaping logarithmically.

A more understandable phrasing would specifically refer to the rate being described:

The water pressure decreases quickly.

The faucet releases water at a decreasing rate.

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Diminishingly seems to fit the bill.

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