lessen

verb
less·​en | \ ˈle-sᵊn \
lessened; lessening\ ˈles-​niŋ , ˈle-​sᵊn-​iŋ \

Definition of lessen

intransitive verb

: to shrink in size, number, or degree : decrease The pain will lessen over time.

transitive verb

1 : to reduce in size, extent, or degree lessen tensions between nations
2a archaic : to represent as of little value
b : to lower in status or dignity : degrade

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of lessen in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

But the two line items do seem to have a moderating effect on each other that has lessened the blow of the tariff. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Trump’s solar tariff isn’t hurting the industry as much as everyone expected," 13 Sep. 2018 This revolutionary microneedling tool, now available for the delicate and hard-to-reach eye area, stimulates skin’s natural healing process, resulting in collagen formation that can lessen bluish shadows and smooth creases. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "These Dark Circle Treatments Are Better Than Concealer," 25 July 2018 Proponents say college classes for people in prison significantly increase their chances of finding steady work after release and lessen the risk of reoffending. Simon Montlake, The Christian Science Monitor, "Next up for prison reform: how best to use education as a path forward," 8 June 2018 Those are the kinds of anchors that can lessen the pain of homelessness and help people get back on their feet and return to permanent housing. New York Times, "Homeless Woman’s Court Fight Inspires 2 City Council Bills," 10 May 2018 Indeed, there hasn’t been one development that has lessened suspicion of Russia’s ties and contacts to the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. Chuck Todd, NBC News, "The state of our republic has become increasingly fragile," 30 Jan. 2018 At home, the young man also persuaded his mom to get rid of Wi-Fi to lessen the temptation. Martha Irvine, The Seattle Times, "He’s a ‘tech addict’ who works in Seattle area’s tech industry," 26 Dec. 2018 The Queen, who is patron to the small matter of over 600 charities, previously handed over 25 of her roles to Princes Harry and William, as well as Kate Middleton, in an effort to lessen her work load a little ahead of her 90th birthday. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Queen Elizabeth Will Pass on Her Royal Patronage to Meghan Markle in the New Year," 17 Dec. 2018 Accusing Soros of being behind so many of today’s largest demonstrations of civil unrest is a method used to lessen the impact of these movements. Jameelah Nasheed, Teen Vogue, "After Years of George Soros Conspiracy Theories, Someone Targeted His Home with an Explosive Device," 23 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lessen.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of lessen

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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Dictionary Entries near lessen

-less

lesse

lessee

lessen

Lesseps

lesser

lesser adjutant

Statistics for lessen

Last Updated

17 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lessen

The first known use of lessen was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for lessen

lessen

verb

English Language Learners Definition of lessen

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

lessen

verb
less·​en | \ ˈle-sᵊn \
lessened; lessening

Kids Definition of lessen

: to make or become fewer or smaller in amount

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More from Merriam-Webster on lessen

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lessen

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lessen

Spanish Central: Translation of lessen

Nglish: Translation of lessen for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lessen for Arabic Speakers

Comments on lessen

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