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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Lessen


LESS'EN, verb transitive les'n. [from less.]

1. To make less; to diminish; to reduce in bulk, size, quantity, number or amount; to make smaller; as, to lessen a kingdom or its population.

2. To diminish in degree, state of quality; as, awkward manners tend to lessen our respect for men of merit.

3. To degrade; to reduce in dignity.

St. Paul chose to magnify his office, when ill men conspired to lessen it.

LESS'EN, verb intransitive les'n.

1. To become less; to shrink; to contract in bulk, quantity, number or amount; to be diminished. The apparent magnitude of objects lessens as we recede from them.

2. To become less in degree, quality or intensity; to decrease. The strength of the body, and the vivacity of the temper usually lessen as we advance in age.