lessen

verb
less·​en | \ ˈle-sᵊn How to pronounce lessen (audio) \
lessened; lessening\ ˈles-​niŋ How to pronounce lessen (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 Whether ingesting drops or gummies, many individuals say that CBD actually improves sleep and helps lessen anxiety. Chelsea Davis, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2021 Some experts are calling for vaccine requirements on airlines ahead of holiday travel to lessen the threat of another winter spike. Aj Willingham, CNN, 11 Oct. 2021 Lottery officials began tinkering with the odds in 2015 to lessen the chance of winning a jackpot, which in turn increased the opportunity for top prizes to reach exorbitant levels. Grace Hauck, USA TODAY, 5 Oct. 2021 Some companies are working to lessen their reliance on Vietnam. Jon Emont, WSJ, 30 Sep. 2021 The letter was meant to be satirical but the idea of moving the clock to lessen the dependence on energy sources – in Franklin’s case candles and oil lamps– began. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, 20 Sep. 2021 The group partners with festivals and venues as well as musicians like Billie Eilish, Pink, and the Dave Matthews Band, to lessen the toll of their concerts on the planet. Melissa Locker, Rolling Stone, 16 Sep. 2021 People who only receive Social Security don’t face the torpedo, and higher-income people probably can’t avoid it, but middle-income people may be able to lessen the hit by delaying Social Security and drawing from their retirement funds instead. Liz Weston, oregonlive, 11 Sep. 2021 By thinning tree density and reducing the amount of smaller trees and vegetation, authorities had hoped to lessen the intensity of future wildfires that moved through the area. Alex Wigglesworth, Los Angeles Times, 4 Sep. 2021

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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Time Traveler for lessen

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near lessen

lessee

lessen

Lesseps

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Statistics for lessen

Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lessen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lessen. Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on lessen

Nglish: Translation of lessen for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lessen for Arabic Speakers

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