Than

Definitions

  • "One bolder than the rest stabbed it with a pitchfork."
    "One bolder than the rest stabbed it with a pitchfork."
  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • conj Than A particle expressing comparison, used after certain adjectives and adverbs which express comparison or diversity, as more better other otherwise, and the like. It is usually followed by the object compared in the nominative case. Sometimes, however, the object compared is placed in the objective case, and than is then considered by some grammarians as a preposition. Sometimes the object is expressed in a sentence, usually introduced by that; as, I would rather suffer than that you should want. "Behold, a greater than Solomon is here.""Which when Beelzebub perceived, than whom,
      Satan except, none higher sat."
      "It's wiser being good than bad;
      It's safer being meek than fierce;
      It's fitter being sane than mad."
    • adv Than Then. See Then. "Thanne longen folk to gon on pilgrimages."
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Additional illustrations & photos:

I Am Sorry for Dad, Because he Holds More Than I Do 074 I Am Sorry for Dad, Because he Holds More Than I Do 074
"'THERE ISN'T A REDDER FOOL THAN ME IN BOTH ATLANTICS.'" "'THERE ISN'T A REDDER FOOL THAN ME IN BOTH ATLANTICS.'"
A smaller, more simple building than the House of Pansa A smaller, more simple building than the House of Pansa
AN AMBASSADOR WAS SENT WITH MORE THAN A HUNDRED HORSES, AN AMBASSADOR WAS SENT WITH MORE THAN A HUNDRED HORSES,
ATTRACTED MORE ATTENTION THAN THE COLLECTION ATTRACTED MORE ATTENTION THAN THE COLLECTION
A bear would rather be your friend than your enemy A bear would rather be your friend than your enemy
A rowboat is a safer craft than a canoe A rowboat is a safer craft than a canoe
The Chickens That Were Wiser Than Lottie The Chickens That Were Wiser Than Lottie

Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Women hearts beat faster than men
    • than At that time; then. See then.
    • than A particle used after comparatives, and certain words which express comparison or diversity, such as more, better, other, otherwise, rather, else, etc., and introducing the second member of a comparison. Than has the same case (usually the nominative) after it as it has before it, in accordance with the syntactical rule that “conjunctions connect … the same cases of nouns and pronouns”: as, he is taller than I (am); I am richer than he (is); “thrice fairer than (I) myself (am)” (Shak., Venus and Adonis, 1.7); they like you better than (they like) me.
    • than Sometimes the preceding comparative is left to be inferred from the context; sometimes it is omitted from mere carelessness. A noun or a pronoun after than has a show of analogy with one governed by a preposition, and is sometimes blunderingly put in the objective case even when properly of subjective value: as, none knew better than him. Even Milton says than whom, and this is more usual: for example, than whom there is none better.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: There are more chickens than people in the world
    • conj Than than when, as, if compared with—a word placed after the comparative of an adjective or adverb between the things compared.
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Quotations

  • Hesiod
    Hesiod
    “The half is greater than the whole.”
  • Oscar Wilde
    Oscar%20Wilde
    “It is better to be beautiful than to be good, but it is better to be good than to be ugly.”
  • Everett D. Martin
    Everett D. Martin
    “It is easier to believe than to doubt.”
  • Yiddish Proverb
    Yiddish Proverb
    “Charm is more than beauty.”
  • Charles F. Lummis
    Charles F. Lummis
    “I am bigger than anything that can happen to me.”
  • Umberto Eco
    Umberto Eco
    “Nothing gives a fearful man more courage than another's fear.”

Idioms

A chain is no stronger than its weakest link - This means that processes, organisations, etc, are vulnerable because the weakest person or part can always damage or break them.
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Actions speak louder than words - This idiom means that what people actually do is more important than what they say- people can promise things but then fail to deliver.
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Bark is worse than their bite - Someone who's bark is worse than their bite may well get angry and shout, but doesn't take action.
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Better be the head of a dog than the tail of a lion - This means that it is better to be the head or at the top of something that isn't very important or prestigious than a small or unimportant member of something big.
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Better late than never - This idiom suggests that doing something late is better than not doing it at all.
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Better safe than sorry - This idiom is used to recommend being cautious rather than taking a risk.
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Better than a kick in the teeth - If something is better than a kick in the teeth, it isn't very good, but it is better than nothing.
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Better than a stick in the eye - If something is better than a stick in the eye, it isn't very good, but it is better than nothing.
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Bite off more than you can chew - If you bite off more than you can chew, you take on more responsibilities than you can manage. 'Don't bite off more than you can chew' is often used to advise people against agreeing to more than they can handle.
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Blood is thicker than water - This idiom means that family relationships are stronger than others.
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Colder than a witch's tit - If it is colder than a witch's tit, it is extremely cold outside.
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Drunker than a peach orchard boar - (USA) Southern US expression - Very drunk, as when a boar would eat fermented peaches that have fallen from the tree.
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Easier said than done - If something is easier said than done, it is much more difficult than it sounds. It is often used when someone advises you to do something difficult and tries to make it sound easy.
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Eyes are bigger than one's stomach - If someone's eyes are bigger than their stomach, they are greedy and take on more than they can consume or manage.
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Fate worse than death - Describing something as a fate worse than death is a fairly common way of implying that it is unpleasant.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. than, thon, then, thanne, thonne, thenne, than, then, AS. ðanne, ðonne, ðænne,; akin to D. dan, OHG. danne, G. dann, then, denn, than, for, Goth. þan, then, and to E. the, there, that,. See That, and cf. Then
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. thonne, in its use a relative or conjunctive adverb, equivalent to our when, used after comparatives to introduce the standard of comparison; closely allied to thone, accus. masc. of def. art. Cf. The.

Usage

In literature:

There is more acid in grape fruit than in oranges and appreciably less than in lemons.
"Human Foods and Their Nutritive Value" by Harry Snyder
Language is ever 'weaker than our grief' and not seldom weaker than our love.
"Expositions of Holy Scripture" by Alexander Maclaren
And the way was opened far sooner than they had hoped or than Effie desired.
"Christie Redfern's Troubles" by Margaret Robertson
On this particular morning Edwin was disturbed in his studies by a greater than the paper boy, a greater even than his father.
"Clayhanger" by Arnold Bennett
Good bones are better than gold, tough muscles than silver, and nerves that carry energy to every function are better than houses and land.
"Pushing to the Front" by Orison Swett Marden
They are said to keep better than any other bulb, and to be sweeter and more nutritious than the cabbage or white turnip.
"The Field and Garden Vegetables of America" by Fearing Burr
George Clinton possessed more popular manners than either Schuyler or Scott.
"A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3" by DeAlva Stanwood Alexander
What could be easier than to cheat an old doting fool?
"Orley Farm" by Anthony Trollope
There are no loftier missions than can there be carried out, no nobler games than can there be played.
"The Physical Life of Woman:" by Dr. George H Napheys
None nearer than you village where the spire was, and that was very little nearer than Deerbrook itself.
"Deerbrook" by Harriet Martineau
The woman had walked all the way from Launceston, a distance of not less than a dozen miles.
"The Day of Judgment" by Joseph Hocking
It is better to claim less than more than what is promised.
"Children's Literature" by Charles Madison Curry
I have always lived on less than the income, and I can continue to do so easier than before.
"Ralph the Heir" by Anthony Trollope
The one they had secured proved to be a very fine salmon of not less than six pounds weight, and therefore much heavier than the bird itself!
"Popular Adventure Tales" by Mayne Reid
She was more than ever on her honour, more than ever pledged to do her part.
"The Creators" by May Sinclair
A dreigh drink is better than a dry sermon.
"The Proverbs of Scotland" by Alexander Hislop
An' I'm blest if they aren't more loyal than the English themselves.
"Ireland as It Is" by Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
This variety is smaller than the eastern, and even paler than the western form.
"The Bird Book" by Chester A. Reed
What greater ornament is there to a son than a father's glory; or what to a father than a son's honorable conduct?
"Life and Literature" by J. Purver Richardson
He is more fun than any one, but better than fun.
"Sir Tom" by Mrs. Oliphant
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In poetry:

Sweeter than odours
Of living leaves,
Sweeter than ardours
Of dying loves.
"Has Your Soul Sipped?" by Wilfred Owen
There's honester eyes than your blue eyes,
There's better a mile than such as you.
But when did I say that I was wise,
And when did I hope that you were true?
"Purposely Ungrammatical Love Song" by Dorothy Parker
And yet I know past all doubting, truly—
A knowledge greater than grief can dim—
I know, as he loved, he will love me duly—
Yea better—e'en better than I love him.
"Divided" by Jean Ingelow
There is no vacant chair. To love is still
To have. Nearer to memory than to eye,
And dearer yet to anguish than to comfort, will
We hold him by our love, that shall not die.
"Afterward" by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward
Yet I shall hate the day more than the hush
Henceforth forever, as life more than death;--
And I have cried to hear the wild winds rush
To drown my words, to drown my living breath.
"In Calm" by Thomas MacDonagh
"And ye that fell upon sleep,
We have you too with us yet.
Fairer than life or than youth
Is this, to die for the truth:
No death can sink you so deep
As their graves whom their brethren forget.
"Mentana : First Anniversary" by Algernon Charles Swinburne

In news:

More than 4,500 votes have been lost in one North Carolina county because officials believed a computer that stored ballots electronically could hold more data than it did.
While melanoma accounts for fewer than 5 percent of skin cancers, it causes more than 75 percent of deaths.
Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley received just $378,321 to dole out to area institutions — more than $35,000 less than any other Queens councilmember.
He pays a much lower rate than I do, and, I suspect, lower than nearly everyone reading this column.
Of the more than a 110-thousand registered voters, more than 31-thousand of them voted early.
It hosted 53,000 more visitors than expected and raised $500,000 more in revenue than projected.
Americans spent more than $7 billion on dry cleaning last year, but cleaning your clothes may affect more than your wallet.
I discovered an infographic recently that said, "Google receives more than 2,000,000 search queries" and, "Facebook users share more than 684,000 pieces of content.".
Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse has lived in New Orleans for more than 30 years and considers fishing more than just a hobby.
That's why it's a shocker to pay less than you should for something that's better than you expect.
In the first presidential debate, Barack Obama spoke more than four minutes longer than Mitt Romney.
This West Texas city may be known more for being far from things than having them, but there's more to see than just the open sky.
Overall, families who eat five or more meals together have children who are 25 percent less likely to encounter nutritional health issues than children who eat less than or equal to one meal with their families, the study said.
More than than the whole enchilada: Elvia and Lorenzo Azria.
NAMPA , Idaho (AP) — Darlyne Markus, 83, has been delivering papers for more than 54 years — a decade longer than any other woman on record.
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In science:

The group G2 is larger than G1 and consequently the spacetimes in the category four above are more symmetric than those in category five.
Is Nature Generic?
Now, all propagators which have numbers larger than 99 will be mapped onto real four-momenta (i.e. with numbers smaller than 100) via Map().
AMEGIC++ 1.0, A Matrix Element Generator In C++
So in the equations below, the local average is taken by integrating over z for a vertical scale greater than the correlation length of ǫ(z) but smaller than the scale height.
The Effect of the Random Magnetic Field Component on the Parker Instability
Thus the argument in the Bessel function is here always larger than 2, and for these values the error in the approximation is less than 10%.
A Simple Model for the BFKL-DGLAP Transition in Deep Inelastic Scattering
The algorithm is asymptotically faster than previous theoretical algorithms and also empirically faster than the product replacement heuristic for many groups.
Towards a practical, theoretically sound algorithm for random generation in finite groups
We conclude that the bar is likely to have formed more recently than 3 Gyr ago, and must be younger than 6 Gyr.
An Upper Limit to the Age of the Galactic Bar
We argue that they are certainly younger than 6 Gyr, and probably younger than 3 Gyr, and therefore the bar must have formed more recently than these limits.
An Upper Limit to the Age of the Galactic Bar
Also due to the relatively large size of the LXeTPC, for g-ray energies larger than ∼800 keV, the detection efficiency is significantly higher for multiple-s ite events than for single-site events.
The LXeGRIT Compton Telescope Prototype: Current Status and Future Prospects
It is nonzero almost everywhere at better than the 68% confidence level, but less than the 2-σ level.
Dynamics of the Globular Cluster System Associated with M49 (NGC4472): Cluster Orbital Properties and the Distribution of Dark Matter
If there is an m = 4 then the other parts may be as small as 1 and 3; or one of them is 1 and the others greater than 4, or all the other parts are greater than 4 which implies that d minus one of these is greater than or equal to 5.
Permutations Which Make Transitive Groups Primitive
Unfortunately, the detector’s effective mass is more than a factor 10 smaller than that of Super-K and thus, even neglecting the issue of directionality, would be able to observe only one event from gravitino decays in more than 1000 years.
Unstable Gravitino Dark Matter and Neutrino Flux
For every n, we define the modified environment of height less than hn by replacing all the excursions of V that are higher than hn by new independent ones that are lower than hn .
Stable fluctuations for ballistic random walks in random environment on Z
Indeed, the first inequality is true since a ≤ 2, the second inequality follows from the fact that the set of points in P (ω ) with distance greater than 2n−1 and less than 2n is bounded by the number of points in Zd with those properties, which is less than a constant times 2nd .
Random walk on discrete point processes
However, smaller atoms will disappear, i.e. if more than k − j elements are of absolute value strictly less than w, the norm of this vector will be strictly smaller than 1.
Laws of large numbers for eigenvectors and eigenvalues associated to random subspaces in a tensor product
For every fixed n, we define the modified environment of height less than hn by replacing all the excursions of V that are higher than hn by new independent ones that are lower than hn .
Quenched limits for the fluctuations of transient random walks in random environment on Z
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