- IPA: /lɛs/, X-SAMPA: /lEs/
- Rhymes: -ɛs
- ( now archaic except with numbers ) comparative form of little: more little; smaller. [from 11th c.]
- A smaller amount ( of ); not as much. [from 14th c.]
- ( proscribed ) A smaller number of; fewer. [from 9th c.]
- 1952, Thomas M Pryor, New York Times, 7 Sep 1952:
- 1999, George RR Martin, A Clash of Kings, Bantam 2011, p. 555:
- 2003, Timandra Harkness, The Guardian, 16 Dec 2003:
- Their troubles are fewer than ours, meaning "Their troubles are not so numerous as ours."
- Their troubles are less than ours, meaning "Their troubles are not so great as ours."
- Lacking ( something )
- earless seal
- odorless / odourless
- less interesting
- less expensive
- less quickly
- of less importance
- less time to spend with the family
- a shower uses less water
- less than three years old
- Less ( lĕs ), conj. Unless. [Obs.] B. Jonson.
- Less, a. [OE. lesse, AS. lǣssa; akin to OFries. lēssa; a compar. from a lost positive form. Cf. Lesser, Lest, Least. Less has the sense of the comparative degree of little.] Smaller; not so large or great; not so much; shorter; inferior; as, “a less quantity or number; a horse of less size or value; in less time than before.”
☞ The substantive which less qualifies is often omitted; as, the purse contained less ( money ) than ten dollars. See Less, n.
Thus in less [time] than a hundred years from the coming of Augustine, all England became Christian. E. A. Freeman.
- Less, adv. [AS. lǣs. See Less, adj., and cf. Lest.] Not so much; in a smaller or lower degree; as, “less bright or loud; less beautiful.”
- Less, n.
1. A smaller portion or quantity.
The children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less. Ex. xvi. 17.
2. The inferior, younger, or smaller.
The less is blessed of the better. Heb. vii. 7.
- Less, v. t. To make less; to lessen. [Obs.] Gower.
Old English læs
Some  regard the use of the determiner less with quantities to be incorrect, stating that less should indicate only a reduction in size or significance, leaving fewer to indicate a smaller quantity:
By Wiktionary ( 2012/08/22 06:04 UTC Version )
Explanation of less by Wordnet Dictionary
Definition of less by GCIDE Dictionary