Lessen vs lesson

Lessen means to diminish, to reduce, to make little. Lessen may be used as a transitive verb which is a verb that takes an object, or an intransitive verb which is a verb that does not take an object. Related words are lessens, lessened, lessening. Lessen comes from the Old English word læs  meaning small, and the suffix -en which means to become, to cause to be.

A lesson is a unit of instruction, something that a student must learn through formal instruction or experience.  A lesson may also refer to a punishment or consequence that serves as a warning. Lesson comes from the Old French word leçon, derived from the Latin word lectionem, which means a reading.


Other parts of Mckesson’s proposal aim to lessen the impact of food deserts on the city’s low-income population, fight drug addiction and invest heavily in arts projects. (The Huffington Post)

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders says Wall Street and billionaire campaign donors have an unfair advantage in the U.S. and it will take a “political revolution” to lessen their political clout. (The New Zealand Herald)

George Osborne says he will ‘lessen the impact’ of tax credit cuts (The Guardian)

Ellis said town officials decided to lessen the raise in order to hold the line on the 2016 budget. (The Philadelphia Sun Times)

The National College for Teaching and Leadership heard it was also alleged she was playing Pac-Man on her mobile phone during the lesson – a claim Ms Day denied. (The Mirror)

But, in my allegedly humble opinion, the most important lesson that the proverbial powers-that-be could take from Deadpool is as follows: Deadpool is a hit partially because there is nothing else like Deadpool in the marketplace. (Forbes Magazine)

The records of the early prime ministers afford lessons, negative and positive, for contemporary leaders. (The Sydney Morning Herald)

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