Less·en v. t. [imp. & p. p. Lessened p. pr. & vb. n. Lessening.] 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. --Calamy.
St. Paul chose to magnify his office when ill men conspired to lessen it. --Atterbury.
Syn: -- To diminish; reduce; abate; decrease; lower; impair; weaken; degrade.
Less·en, v. i. 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. --Atterbury.
v 1: decrease in size, extent, or range; "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" [syn: decrease,
diminish, fall] [ant: increase]
2: make smaller; "He decreased his staff" [syn: decrease, minify]
3: wear off or die down; "The pain subsided" [syn: subside]