verb less·en \ˈle-sən\

: to become less or to cause (something) to become less

less·enedless·en·ing \ˈles-niŋ, ˈle-sən-iŋ\

Full Definition of LESSEN

intransitive verb
:  to shrink in size, number, or degree :  decrease
transitive verb
:  to reduce in size, extent, or degree
a archaic :  to represent as of little value
b :  to lower in status or dignity :  degrade

Examples of LESSEN

  1. Medication helps lessen the severity of the symptoms.
  2. <we lessened our efforts as it became clear they weren't having an effect>

First Known Use of LESSEN

13th century

Synonym Discussion of LESSEN

decrease, lessen, diminish, reduce, abate, dwindle mean to grow or make less. decrease suggests a progressive decline in size, amount, numbers, or intensity <slowly decreased the amount of pressure>. lessen suggests a decline in amount rather than in number <has been unable to lessen her debt>. diminish emphasizes a perceptible loss and implies its subtraction from a total <his visual acuity has diminished>. reduce implies a bringing down or lowering <you must reduce your caloric intake>. abate implies a reducing of something excessive or oppressive in force or amount <the storm abated>. dwindle implies progressive lessening and is applied to things growing visibly smaller <their provisions dwindled slowly>.

Rhymes with LESSEN

LESSENING Defined for Kids


verb less·en \ˈle-sən\

Definition of LESSEN for Kids

:  to make or become fewer or smaller in amount


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