- to make less; decrease
- Archaic to belittle; minimize; disparage
When you take pain pills and they reduce pain, this is an example of a situation where the pills lessen the pain.
verbless·ened, less·en·ing, less·ens
- To make less; reduce. See Synonyms at decrease.
- Archaic To make little of; belittle.
Origin of lessenMiddle English lessen, lessenen from lesse less ; see less .
(third-person singular simple present lessens, present participle lessening, simple past and past participle lessened)
- It can lessen its enforcement of private property rights.
- In spite of his political reforms, he opposed the admission of the plebeians to the consulship and priestly offices; and, although these reforms might appear to be democratic in character and calculated to give preponderance to the lowest class of the people, his probable aim was to strengthen the power of the magistrates (and lessen that of the senate) by founding it on the popular will, which would find its expression in the urban inhabitants and could be most easily influenced by the magistrate.
- More effective ventilation will materially lessen the deathrate.
- It is usual to reduce the quantity of proteid food to a minimum, in order to lessen the amount of nitrogenous waste to be excreted by the kidneys.
- While this treament by itself would aid recovery from nervous exhaustion, it would lessen appetite and thus interfere with nervous repair; but the want of exertion is supplied by means of massage, which stimulates the circulation and increases the appetite, so that the patient gets all the benefit of exercise without any exhaustion.