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

There are several reasons: Tracks are sandier to lessen the risk of injury. Allison Schrager, WSJ, "Secretariat’s Kentucky Derby Record Is Safe, Thanks to the Taxman," 3 May 2019 There is something called a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) program in effect with mifepristone, which is used by the FDA to lessen the risk of adverse events happening in relation to certain medications, as the FDA explains. SELF, "The Complicated Reality of Buying Abortion Pills Online," 8 Apr. 2019 The naloxone is designed to lessen risks of overdose. Beth Warren, The Courier-Journal, "Tired of going to funerals, this doctor treats addiction with drugs," 21 June 2018 Dueker encouraged the state to lessen the burden of miles and miles of county roads. Allison Kite, kansascity, "‘I-70 is a nightmare.’ Missouri Influencers weigh in on state‘s infrastructure woes," 18 June 2018 Overall, Potcake Place's main goal is to lessen the amount of native and homeless puppies that are born onto the island. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "This Tropical Island is Brimming With Adoptable Puppies You Can Take Home," 2 Apr. 2019 Still, there’s no doubt that the industry as a whole is heading to electrification, a good thing as the world lessens its dependence on cars and looks to combat climate change. Megan Barber, Curbed, "World’s first fully electric RV will debut in 2019," 14 Dec. 2018 New research is suggesting that lifestyle adjustments might help to lessen the effects of Alzheimer's disease. Discover Magazine, "Table of Contents Dec 2018," 24 Nov. 2018 Interestingly enough, moving the body parts affected by RLS can get rid of or lessen the symptoms temporarily, according to the Mayo Clinic. Kristin Auble, SELF, "9 Facts to Know About Restless Legs Syndrome," 16 Mar. 2019

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

12 May 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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