Primary English | Shades of Meaning: Lessen


Hello again! For this week, I will focus on the word ‘lessen’, which means ‘to become less strong’.

Take a look at the question below:

Vocabulary MCQ

All the four given options for the question are related to something becoming less, in size, amount or strength. Why is the correct answer (4)? This is because the context clue for this question is the ‘storm’ and a storm cannot drop, lessen or reduce; it can only subside (which means to become less extreme).

What is the point I’m trying to make? For vocabulary questions, you must always be aware of the given context in the question. This is especially true where the options given are very similar in meaning, like the ones in the question above. Use contextual clues to eliminate the inappropriate choices and get to the right answer.

Below are four synonyms of lessen and their accompanying definitions:

Shades of Meaning : Lessen


Fill in each blank with the appropriate synonym of ‘lessen’. Each synonym can be used TWICE. You can change the form of the word (e.g. scanned / scanning). Use contextual clues to help you decide on which synonym to use.

1. The doctors are doing all they can to ____________ the risk of infection for the patient.

2. He might be very upset with you now but in time, his anger will ____________ and he will forgive you.

3. The number of people living in this town has ____________ over the last few years. Soon, there might be very few of us living here.

4. He ____________ his rival’s achievements because he did not want her to get the award.

5. The strength of their friendship has not ____________ despite them not keeping in touch for almost a decade.

6. She tries to ____________ the seriousness of the situation because she does not want the others to panic.

7. The fire shows no sign of ____________ although the firefighters have been hard at work for the last hour.

8. Her wasteful habits has caused her savings to ____________ to almost nothing. 

Check your answers and understand why by clicking the button below:

Leave a comments below and let me know if this post has been useful for you. All the best for the coming week!

About the Author: Nora is an English Teacher at Lil' but Mighty. She is committed to providing students with a dynamic and nurturing environment in which they can grow and develop. One of her greatest strengths as an educator is instilling a love for the English Language in her students.