Specifically to do with lenses / magnification, but making something appear smaller rather than larger.


If her glasses make her eyes look larger:

Her glasses magnify her eyes.

If her glasses make her eyes look smaller:

Her glasses ______ her eyes. (opposite of magnify)

  • 1
    Questions entirely answerable by a thesaurus are off-topic. If you have checked one and it doesn't answer your question, please edit to explain why the words you found don't work.
    – Laurel
    Commented Jan 19, 2019 at 19:31
  • My question is not answerable by a thesaurus (as far as I can tell). I stated in my question that I am looking for a word related to the use of lenses. All thesauruses I have checked to not have an antonym to magnify that relates to the use of lenses. @Laurel Do you want me to list every antonym to magnify and explain that it does not relate to using lenses?
    – tehp
    Commented Jan 19, 2019 at 19:38
  • 2
    Yes, that's what you need to do. That way, it prevents answerers from spending time giving you answers you've already discarded. Also please be sure to give a sentence where you would use the word (see here for more info).
    – Laurel
    Commented Jan 19, 2019 at 19:42
  • 1
    I don't see what's wrong with shrink or many of its synonyms. You keep saying that you want something specific to lenses. But magnify itself is not specific to lenses—so how can we interpret the opposite? Commented Jan 20, 2019 at 3:38
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    @tehp You don't have to list all the antonyms you find. But simply saying something like "I checked a thesaurus, and the words I found weren't suitable for my needs" goes a long way in people's attitude toward the question. Many people come here with no prior research, and users are wary of that.
    – Zebrafish
    Commented Jan 20, 2019 at 6:43

2 Answers 2


You could use reduce.

You can magnify the size of an image

You can reduce the size of an image

By definition:

make smaller or less in amount, degree, or size

If you are looking something related to lenses use demagnify.

to reduce the size of (something, such as a photographic image or an electron beam)

You could say:

I am going to demagnify this


I am an expert in demagnification

  • Reduce is good, but I am looking specifically for something related to the use of lenses.
    – tehp
    Commented Jan 19, 2019 at 19:34
  • @tehp edited post. Use demagnification
    – user325641
    Commented Jan 19, 2019 at 19:41
  • @DManokhin I suppose the point the OP is struggling with is exemplified by the first part of your answer. You have said "magnify the size of the image". One could simply have said "magnify the image". The words "size of" are superfluous. Unfortunately it doesn't work quite like that for "reduce".
    – WS2
    Commented Jan 21, 2019 at 9:33

I've seen this word used as the opposite of magnify, but it's been in specialist fields. That word is minify. However, dictionaries list this word. It seems to have come about analogously using magnify as a model:

2.(with object)
To reduce in actual size or amount; (now) especially to reduce the size of (an image).
From classical Latin min- + -ify, after magnify.
Oxford Living Dictionaries

To make smaller or less significant; reduce.
[min(imum) + (magn)ify.]
American Heritage Dictionary

to minimize or lessen the size or importance of (something)
from Latin minus less; for form, compare magnify
Collins Dictionary

1.to make less.
2.to minimize.
Latin min(us ) less + -ify, modeled on magnify
Random House Unabridged Dictionary (dictionary.com)

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

2.To reduce in apparent size, as for example objects viewed through a lens or mirror shaped so as to increase the field of view, such as a convex or aspheric mirror or a Fresnel lens.

redirected from minify
A reduction in the apparent size of an object. Example: viewing a distant object through the objective of a galilean telescope. Syn. negative magnification.
Dictionary of Optometry and Visual Science

Magnification, by a factor of less than one, producing a smaller image.
Wikipedia magnification disambiguation page


Contact lenses neither magnify nor minify the image because they are placed on your cornea.
Physics of the Human Body, 2007

The most common types are reverse telescopes ... which minify objects being viewed but present more information by means of the enlarged visual field.
Dictionary of Optometry and Visual Science, 2014

Figure 3.13b is a photograph taken through a 35-mm lens which minified the optic array by a factor of .70 ...
The Perception of Pictures: Alberti's window, the projective model of pictorial information, 1980.

Some lenses magnify, others make things smaller (minify). How much they magnify or minify can be calculated, but we have to know the actual numbers in your prescription(s)...
From a reddit forum post on optometry board

The lenses in your glasses can magnify or minify the look of your eyes. WHY?!
Facebook post from Adra Eye Care

It also comes up in thesauruses. However as you can see, it seems to be a term that's arisen after magnification to mean its opposite, and is probably not often used outside of specialist domains. In light of that, and since you don't seem to writing a technical or academic piece, you may want to use a more common English word.

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