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Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does lessen mean? 

LESSEN (verb)
  The verb LESSEN has 3 senses:

1. decrease in size, extent, or range
2. make smaller
3. wear off or die down

  Familiarity information: LESSEN used as a verb is uncommon.

 Dictionary entry details 

LESSEN (verb)

Sense 1lessen [BACK TO TOP]


Decrease in size, extent, or range

Classified under:

Verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.


decrease; diminish; lessen; fall

Context examples:

The amount of homework decreased towards the end of the semester / The cabin pressure fell dramatically / her weight fall to under a hundred pounds / his voice fell to a whisper

Hypernyms (to "lessen" is one way to...):

change magnitude (change in size or magnitude)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "lessen"):

break (diminish or discontinue abruptly)

remit (diminish or abate)

de-escalate (diminish in size, scope, or intensity)

depreciate; devaluate; devalue; undervalue (lose in value)

shorten (become short or shorter)

thin out (become sparser)

decline; go down; wane (grow smaller)

wane (decrease in phase)

wane (become smaller)

decelerate; retard; slow; slow down; slow up (lose velocity; move more slowly)

decrescendo (grow quieter)

dwindle; dwindle away; dwindle down (become smaller or lose substance)

deflate (become deflated or flaccid, as by losing air)

abate; die away; let up; slack; slack off (become less in amount or intensity)

shrink; shrivel (decrease in size, range, or extent)

taper (diminish gradually)

drop off (fall or diminish)

fly; vanish; vaporize (decrease rapidly and disappear)

break (fall sharply)

ease off; ease up; flag; slacken off (become less intense)

weaken (become weaker)

boil down; concentrate; decoct; reduce (be cooked until very little liquid is left)

contract; shrink (become smaller or draw together)

shrink; shrivel; shrivel up; wither (wither, as with a loss of moisture)

Sentence frame:

Something ----s

Sense 2lessen [BACK TO TOP]


Make smaller

Classified under:

Verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.


minify; decrease; lessen

Context example:

He decreased his staff

Hypernyms (to "lessen" is one way to...):

alter; change; modify (cause to change; make different; cause a transformation)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "lessen"):

de-escalate; step down; weaken (reduce the level or intensity or size or scope of)

minimise; minimize (make small or insignificant)

bring down; cut; cut back; cut down; reduce; trim; trim back; trim down (cut down on; make a reduction in)

cut (have a reducing effect)

relax; slack; slack up; slacken (make less active or fast)

lour; lower; turn down (make lower or quieter)

abate; slack; slake (make less active or intense)

abbreviate; abridge; contract; cut; foreshorten; reduce; shorten (reduce in scope while retaining essential elements)

reduce; shrink (reduce in size; reduce physically)

boil down; concentrate; reduce (cook until very little liquid is left)

circumscribe; confine; limit (restrict or confine,)

pare; pare down (decrease gradually or bit by bit)

mitigate (make less severe or harsh)

belittle; diminish (lessen the authority, dignity, or reputation of)

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s something
Something ----s something

Sense 3lessen [BACK TO TOP]


Wear off or die down

Classified under:

Verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.


subside; lessen

Context example:

The pain subsided

Hypernyms (to "lessen" is one way to...):

weaken (become weaker)

Sentence frame:

Something ----s

 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
"All work and no play makes Jack filthy rich." (English proverb)

"Sow with one hand, reap with both." (Albanian proverb)

"When you are dead, your sister's tears will dry as time goes on, your widow's tears will cease in another's arms, but your mother will mourn you until she dies." (Arabic proverb)

"A goose’s child is a swimmer." (Egyptian proverb)

 LESSEN: related words searches 

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