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alleviate - Can mean "diminish the weight of"; to alleviate is not to cure, but rather to lighten, lessen, or relieve to some degree. More...
minute, second - Latin minutus, "small," came from minuere, "lessen," and the term pars minuta prima, "first small part," was applied to a 60th of a whole—a minute, originally of a circle and later of an hour; likewise, a second was originally a secunda minuta, a 60th of a 60th. More...
mince - Can mean "lessen or diminish (something)" or "minimize." More...
bated breath - The expression is based on bate, meaning "to moderate, restrain" or "to lessen, diminish"; though bated was once rather common, it is now rare except in this set expression. More...