follow Dictionary.com

Denotation vs. Connotation

lessen

[les-uh n] /ˈlɛs ən/
verb (used without object)
1.
to become less.
verb (used with object)
2.
to make less; reduce.
3.
Archaic. to represent as less; depreciate; disparage.
Origin of lessen
late Middle English
1300-1350
1300-50; late Middle English lessenen, lasnen (see less, -en1); replacing Middle English lessen
Related forms
unlessened, adjective
Can be confused
lessen, lesson.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for lessen
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If you do, you will give him a slovenly carriage and habits, and lessen his zeal for the sport.

    Dog Breaking William Nelson Hutchinson
  • No, he could not—which admission did not lessen the glow on his cheek.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • Should the hair become too dry, lessen the quantity of water employed, and use a very little cocoanut or perfumed castor oil.

  • This increased his astonishment, and did not lessen the gloom on his face.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • He began, therefore, to lessen the number, and shorten the length of his appearances in Addison Square.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
British Dictionary definitions for lessen

lessen

/ˈlɛsən/
verb
1.
to make or become less
2.
(transitive) to make little of
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for lessen
v.

"to become less," c.1300, from less + -en (1). Related: Lessened; lessening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for lessen

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for lessen

6
8
Scrabble Words With Friends