- The definition of less is not as much.
An example of less used as an adjective is in the sentence, "She has less money than he does," which means that she does not have as much money as he does.
- Less is defined as to a smaller degree or amount.
An example of less used as an adverb is in the sentence, "The shrimp is less tasty than the crab," which means that the crab tastes better.
- Less means a smaller amount or something not as important.
An example of less used as a noun is in the sentence, "She used less than he did," which means she used a smaller amount that he did.
- Less is defined as minus.
An example of less used as a preposition is in the sentence, "Ten less seven is three," which means ten minus seven is three.
less definition by Webster's New World
- not so much; smaller in size or amount: to drink less milk, take less time
- fewer: in less than 25 words
Origin: Middle English les ; from Old English læs, adv. læssa, adjective (used as comparative of lytel, little), akin to Old Frisian les ; from Indo-European an unverified form leis- ; from base an unverified form lei-, to diminish, meager, from source little
- to a smaller extent: less likely to succeed
- without, lacking: pitiless, valueless
- not able or apt to: relentless, tireless, reckless
- not able or apt to be ____ed: dauntless
Origin: Middle English -les, -leas ; from Old English -leas ; from leas, free, loose, akin to losian, lose
less definition by American Heritage Dictionary
adjective A comparative of little.
- Not as great in amount or quantity: had less time to spend with the family.
- Lower in importance, esteem, or rank: no less a person than the ambassador.
- Consisting of a smaller number. See Usage Note at few.
- A smaller amount: She received less than she asked for.
- Something not as important as something else: People have been punished for less.
Origin: Middle English lesse, from Old English lǣssa (adj.) and lǣs (adv.); see leis-2 in Indo-European roots.
- Without; lacking: blameless.
- Unable to act or be acted on in a specified way: dauntless.
Origin: Middle English -lesse, from Old English -lēas, from lēas, without; see leu- in Indo-European roots.
less - Phrases/Idioms
less and less
much lessor still less
no less a person than
Variant of little
- small in size; not big, large, or great
- small in amount, number, or degree; not much
- short in duration or distance; brief; not long
- small in importance or power: the rights of the little man
- small in force, intensity, etc.; weak
- trivial; trifling
- lacking in breadth of vision; narrow-minded; illiberal: a little mind
- young: said of children or animals
- younger: her little brother
Origin: Middle English littel ; from Old English lytel (akin to German dialect, dialectal lützel) ; from base of lyt, small (; from Indo-European base an unverified form leud-, to stoop from source Welsh lludded, fatigue), influenced, influence by Old Norse litill, small (akin to Gothic leitils) ; from Indo-European base an unverified form lei-, to decline, be lean from source less
- in a small degree; to a slight extent; only slightly; not much
- not in the least: he little suspects the plot
- small amount, degree, etc.: often used with a and having adverbial force: a little crazy
- not much: little will be done about it
- a short time or distance
- littleness noun