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English definition of “reduce sb to sth”

reduce sb to sth

verb [I or T] uk phrasal verb with reduce   /rɪˈdjuːs/ us    /-ˈduːs/
C2 to make someone unhappy or cause someone to be in a bad state or situation: His comments reduced her to tears (= made her cry). The sergeant was reduced to the ranks (= made an ordinary soldier) for his cowardice.Treating people or animals badlyInsults and abuseUnkind, cruel and unfeelingViolent or aggressive C2 If you are reduced to doing something, you are forced to do it because you have no other choice: I'd run out of cigarettes and was reduced to smoking the butts left in the ashtrays.Causing somebody to actUrging and persuading
(Definition of reduce sb to sth from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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