lessen

verb
less·​en | \ ˈle-sᵊn How to pronounce lessen (audio) \
lessened; lessening\ ˈles-​niŋ How to pronounce lessening (audio) , 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

Playing with that severe hammie injury, his left leg taped up like a mummy and shot up to lessen the pain, West scored 26 points in Game 6 and 42 (yes, 42) in Game 7. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "Jerry West knows how Klay Thompson feels," 5 June 2019 Apple also unveiled several new apps for its smartwatch, including independent apps that don't rely on the iPhone in another sign of the company's determination to lessen its dependence on that product. Michael Liedtke, Anchorage Daily News, "Say hello to ‘dark mode’ on iPhones and goodbye to iTunes," 4 June 2019 Other nations, such as Russia, which the U.S. has repeatedly sanctioned in recent years, are seeking to lessen their dependence on the dollar. Ira Iosebashvili, WSJ, "Wary Investors Reach for Gold," 21 Feb. 2019 Apple has increasingly worked with other chipmakers, including Intel, to lessen its dependence on Qualcomm. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Qualcomm says a Chinese court has banned sales of older iPhones nationwide," 10 Dec. 2018 The Army ordered lights along the East Coast to be doused or shielded to lessen the silhouetting of ships offshore that had made them easy prey for U-boats. Richard Goldstein, BostonGlobe.com, "Reinhard Hardegen, 105, who led U-boats to US shore," 23 June 2018 The sound has been linked to lessening chances of a heart attack and even strengthening your bones. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "According to Research, Being a Cat Lady is Actually Good For You," 15 May 2019 Nixing your nerves is one of the top reasons people are turning to CBD products (along with lessening pain and help sleeping). Laurel Leicht, Marie Claire, "An Expert Answers All Your Questions About CBD," 26 Mar. 2019 When water is simply held by a hotter substance like lava, a layer of vapor forms around the water like the skin of a balloon, which lessens the transfer of heat into the water, effectively stabilizing it. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Blew Up Lava in a Backyard Volcano to Unlock the Secrets of the Most Violent Eruptions," 11 Dec. 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

9 Jun 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 How to pronounce lessen (audio) \
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

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