AskDefine | Define less

Dictionary Definition

less adj
1 (comparative of `little' usually used with mass nouns) a quantifier meaning not as great in amount or degree; "of less importance"; "less time to spend with the family"; "a shower uses less water"; "less than three years old" [syn: less(a)] [ant: more(a)]
2 (usually preceded by `no') lower in quality; "no less than perfect"
3 (usually preceded by `no') lower in esteem; "no less a person than the king himself" [syn: lower]
4 (nonstandard in some uses but often idiomatic with measure phrases) fewer; "less than three weeks"; "no less than 50 people attended"; "in 25 words or less" adv
1 used to form the comparative of some adjectives and adverbs; "less interesting"; "less expensive"; "less quickly" [syn: to a lesser extent] [ant: more]
2 comparative of little; "she walks less than she should"; "he works less these days" [ant: more]

User Contributed Dictionary





  • /lɛs/, /lEs/
  • Rhymes: -ɛs


  1. to smaller extent
  2. in lower degree
    None the less.


to smaller extent
  • Czech: méně
  • German: weniger


( least)
  1. Comparative form of little
    I have less than you have.
    I have less tea than coffee.
    Ten items or less (see usage notes, or entry at fewer).

Usage notes

Many people restrict less as a determiner to mean smaller in size or amount. They proscribe the use of less to mean smaller in number', for which fewer is the preferred adjective.However, the proscribed usage is very common, and considered to be normal usage in some regions. See fewer for a complete discussion.


  1. minus; not including
    It should then tax all of that as personal income, less the proportion of the car's annual mileage demonstrably clocked up on company business.


Derived terms

rfc nonstandard translation table


  • Dutch: minder, minder dan
  • French: moins de, moins que
    I have less tea than you - J'ai moins de thé que toi
    I have less tea than coffee - J'ai moins de thé que de café
    I had to wait less than ten minutes - J'ai dû attendre moins que dix minutes
  • German: weniger, weniger als
    I have less tea than you - Ich habe weniger Tee als du
    I have less tea than coffee - Ich habe weniger Tee als Kaffee
    I had to wait less than ten minutes - Ich mußte weniger als zehn Minuten warten
  • Ido: min
  • Italian: meno
    I have less tea than you - Ho meno tè di te
    I have less tea than coffee - Ho meno tè che caffé
    I had to wait less than ten minutes - Ho dovuto aspettare meno di dieci minuti
  • Romanian: mai puţin
  • Swedish: mindre
    I have less tea than you - Jag har mindre te än du (colloquial), Jag har mindre te än vad du har (formal)
    I have less tea than coffee - Jag har mindre te än kaffe
    I had to wait less than ten minutes - Jag fick vänta mindre än tio minuter (voluntary or forced act)

See also

Extensive Definition

Less can refer to:
  • Less (band), a band from the San Francisco bay area
  • less (Unix), a Unix utility used to view (but not change) the contents of a text file one screen at a time
  • -less, a suffix
See also Loess
less in French: Moins

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abated, ablated, at a disadvantage, at the nadir, attenuated, barring, bated, belittled, below, below the mark, common, consumed, contracted, curtailed, decreased, decreasingly, decrescendo, deflated, demeaning, diminished, diminishingly, diminuendo, disadvantaged, discounting, dissipated, dropped, eroded, ever less, except, excepting, exception taken of, excluding, exclusive of, fallen, fewer, from, humble, in the gutter, in the shade, inferior, infra dig, junior, least, least of all, leaving out, less and less, lesser, low, lower, lowered, lowly, miniaturized, minor, minus, modest, not counting, not so much, off, ordinary, reduced, retrenched, sans, save, scaled-down, second rank, second string, secondary, servile, shorn, short of, shorter, shrunk, shrunken, smaller, sub, subaltern, subject, subordinate, subservient, third rank, third string, under, under par, underprivileged, vulgar, watered-down, weakened, without, worn
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