9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[les-uh n] /ˈlɛs ən/
verb (used without object)
to become less.
verb (used with object)
to make less; reduce.
Archaic. to represent as less; depreciate; disparage.
Origin of lessen
late Middle English
1300-50; late Middle English lessenen, lasnen (see less, -en1); replacing Middle English lessen
Related forms
unlessened, adjective
Can be confused
lessen, lesson. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for lessened
  • They also designed the dome's interior as a series of recessed panels, which lessened the amount of concrete needed.
  • The degree to which people want to do the harder treks has lessened dramatically.
  • His art is not lessened by being honest about his science, and his early political use of twisted science.
  • Third and fourth are marked by a lessened capacity to function in a number of bodily activities.
  • These distressing feelings were in no way lessened by the fact that the movie was so unbelievably funny.
  • Right now, many smart skippers are keeping a weather eye on the slackening storm of lessened winter demand.
  • They have lessened-in fact, almost destroyed-our hopes of a quiet and happy future.
  • In fact the whole tendency to dualism that pervades human thinking may be found to be lessened, or changed.
  • My preparation time this semester was radically lessened by having the opportunity to reteach a couple of courses.
  • However as twitter in conferences becomes more frequent this perception will be lessened.
British Dictionary definitions for lessened


to make or become less
(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
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Word Origin and History for lessened



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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