v. less·ened, less·en·ing, less·ens
1. To make less; reduce. See Synonyms at decrease.
2. Archaic To make little of; belittle.
To become less; decrease: interest that lessened as the lecture continued.
[Middle English lessen, lessenen, from lesse, less; see LESS.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.