• WordNet 3.6
    • v lessen decrease in size, extent, or range "The amount of homework decreased towards the end of the semester","The cabin pressure fell dramatically","her weight fell to under a hundred pounds","his voice fell to a whisper"
    • v lessen wear off or die down "The pain subsided"
    • v lessen make smaller "He decreased his staff"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • v. i Lessen To become less; to shrink; to contract; to decrease; to be diminished; as, the apparent magnitude of objects lessens as we recede from them; his care, or his wealth, lessened. "The objection lessens much, and comes to no more than this: there was one witness of no good reputation."
    • v. t Lessen lĕs"'n To make less; to reduce; to make smaller, or fewer; to diminish; to lower; to degrade; as, to lessen a kingdom, or a population; to lessen speed, rank, fortune. "Charity . . . shall lessen his punishment.""St. Paul chose to magnify his office when ill men conspired to lessen it."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • lessen To become less; contract in bulk, quantity, number, or amount; decrease; diminish; shrink.
    • lessen To come to appear less from increase of distance.
    • lessen To make less; diminish; reduce in number, size, degree, or quality.
    • lessen To degrade; reduce in dignity; depreciate; disparage.
    • lessen To cause to appear less from increase of distance; specifically, in falconry, to soar above or beyond.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Lessen les′n to make less, in any sense: to weaken: to degrade
    • v.i Lessen to become less, shrink
    • ***


  • Laurence Sterne
    “Positiveness is an absurd foible. If you are in the right, it lessens your triumph; if in the wrong, it adds shame to your defeat.”
  • Claudius
    “Acquaintance lessens fame.”
  • Siddha Nagarjuna
    Siddha Nagarjuna
    “An anthill increases by accumulation. Medicine is consumed by distribution. That which is feared lessens by association. This is the thing to understand.”
  • Robert Southey
    “No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth.”
  • Benjamin Franklin
    “To lengthen thy Life, lessen thy meals.”
  • William Shakespeare
    “One pain is lessened by another's anguish.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
From Less (a.)


In literature:

The school duties should be lessened and the girl allowed to rest a day or two during her menstrual period.
"Herself" by E. B. Lowry
Force could be of no avail, and it would lessen my chance of escape, were you beside me.
"Saint Bartholomew's Eve" by G. A. Henty
The war lessened restraints and increased temptation.
"Women's Wild Oats" by C. Gasquoine Hartley
That knowledge would have lessened his hold.
"Jack Harkaway's Boy Tinker Among The Turks" by Bracebridge Hemyng
By ten-thirty the water depth had lessened about two feet.
"The True Story of Our National Calamity of Flood, Fire and Tornado" by Logan Marshall
The same feeling existed as to her sister, the Duchess, though in a greatly lessened degree.
"The Two Admirals" by J. Fenimore Cooper
In later years, powder charges lessened for all guns.
"Artillery Through the Ages" by Albert Manucy
It should be said, too, that the government is doing something to lessen the evil of drunkenness.
"Up To Date Business" by Various
The detective appreciated the estimation in which the old man held him, and the fact did not tend to lessen his own irritation.
"The Hand in the Dark" by Arthur J. Rees
Easy Divorce Does Not Lessen Marriage Responsibility.
"The Family and it's Members" by Anna Garlin Spencer

In poetry:

So in the tide of life that carries me
From where thy true heart dwells,
Waves of my thoughts and memories turn to thee
With lessening farewells;
"Regrets" by Alice Meynell
Teach us the love of kindness to each other,
To aid the suff'rer, though we aid the foe;
And, looking on each neighbour as a brother,
Lessen the quantity of human wo.
"To Charity" by Thomas Odiorne
Did you never know, long ago, how much you loved me—
That your love would never lessen and never go?
You were young then, proud and fresh-hearted,
You were too young to know.
"Did You Never Know?" by Sara Teasdale
Can we forget the presence
Of death who walks unseen?
Whose scythe casts shadowy crescents
Around life's glittering essence,
As lessens, slowly lessens,
The space that lies between.
"A Reed Shaken In The Wind" by Madison Julius Cawein
Like it, I lessen with a lengthening sadness,
Like it, I burn to waste and waste to burn,
Like it, I spend the golden oil of gladness
To feed the sorrowy signal for return,
Return, return.
"Return!" by Sydney Thompson Dobell
They say that Possession lessens a lover's delight,
As radiant mornings fade into afternoon.
I held what I loved in my arms for many a night,
Yet ever the morning lightened the sky too soon.
"Reverie Of Mahomed Akram At The Tamarind Tank" by Laurence Hope

In news:

Prepare now to lessen storm losses.
Xcel adds new lines, substation to lessen power interruptions.
Rain gardens lessen storms' environmental impact.
Lessen drought effects through conservation.
Enbridge, federal regulators missed numerous opportunities to prevent or lessen impact of Kalamazoo River oil spill.
Westlawn's rebirth aims to lessen floods, pollution.
While preparing our Green publication, which comes out next week, I've learned about practices local businesses employ to lessen their footprint on the planet and thought about what I and others can do individually.
FDA's Call to Lessen Use of Antibiotics in Livestock Could Increase Consumer Confidence but Could Also Hurt Producers.
Apples, berries found to lessen Parkinson's risk.
A Greene County Corrections Officer Uses Words to Lessen His Risk of Danger.
A new coalition will use a $200,000 grant from the state to try to lessen the number of infant deaths in McLennan County.
How to lessen the chance of sudden infant death syndrome.
Regardless, there are several basic things parents can do that significantly lessen their infant's risk of death.
A drug used outside the US to treat osteoporosis may not only lessen the everyday pain associated with kneeosteoarthritis, but may even slow down the progression of osteoarthritis , researchers say.
Harvard-Developed Site Assesses, Lessens Your Risk For Disease.

In science:

We found that by using CosmoMC and the official noise values instead of approximated values for the noise, the gravitational wave contribution lessened, and if lower limits for R were found, they were typically small.
Are all perturbations created equal? An analysis of the WMAP 5- and 7-year data without inflationary prejudice
On the other hand in Makoto Sakaki uttered that the assumption in the Theorem 2 in can be lessened for a null curve to have a unique Cartan frame in 1 .
$(1,2)$-Null Bertrand Curves in Minkowski Spacetime
The rise in the H2/PAH ratio is due to a faster decline in the PAH emission compared with the H2 emission in the outer galaxy, and might be due to a variety of effects including a lessened importance of star formation in the outer galaxy, or lowered metallicity in the outer regions of NGC 891.
Mid-J CO Emission From NGC 891: Microturbulent Molecular Shocks in Normal Star Forming Galaxies
This variation from Models 1-3 is attributed to the lessened capacity of the Galaxy to lock Fornax B into a more radial orbit and accretion by its host.
The Fornax dwarf galaxy as a remnant of recent dwarf-dwarf merging in the Local Group
On the other hand, compared to analysing each SNP separately, the blockwise approach reduces the dimensionality of the problem, lessening the multipletesting problems.
Genome-wide association studies with high-dimensional phenotypes