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English definition of “reduce sb to sth”

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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.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.
(Definition of reduce sb to sth from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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