be reduced to ~ing

Discussion in 'English Only' started by jnzovy, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. jnzovy Senior Member

    During the war, most of the villagers were so badly off that they were reduced to begging for food.

    What does " to be reduced to ~ing" mean?
    (I cannot find the meaning in a dictionary..)
    Thanks in advance~
  2. farscape mod-errare humanum est

    Ottawa, Canada
    As a result of the war, the villagers were so poor that they had to beg, as a last resort to obtain food.

  3. Cypherpunk Senior Member

    Springdale, AR
    US, English
    It generally implies that someone once was much better off, had more money, was stronger, faster, or in some way better than they are, now. So, a fast runner who was injured may be reduced to jogging slowly around the track. A wealthy man who once had a limousine and who has lost much of his money my be reduced to driving himself around town.

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