• not 'less Ye Say 'bunker Hill.'' 155
    not 'less Ye Say 'bunker Hill.'' 155
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj less (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"
    • adj less (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"
    • adj less (usually preceded by `no') lower in quality "no less than perfect"
    • adv less used to form the comparative of some adjectives and adverbs "less interesting","less expensive","less quickly"
    • adv less comparative of little "she walks less than she should","he works less these days"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

I see a baker's been fined ten pounds for selling bread less than twelve hours old I see a baker's been fined ten pounds for selling bread less than twelve hours old

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The width of a tornado can range from less than ten yards to more than a mile.
    • Less A smaller portion or quantity. "The children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less ."
    • adv Less Not so much; in a smaller or lower degree; as, less bright or loud; less beautiful.
    • a Less 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 lessmoney) than ten dollars. See Less n. "Thus in less time] than a hundred years from the coming of Augustine, all England became Christian."
    • Less The inferior, younger, or smaller. "The less is blessed of the better."
    • v. t Less To make less; to lessen.
    • conj Less lĕs Unless.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The average elephant weighs less than the average blue whale's tongue
    • less Not so much or so large; of smaller quantity, amount, bulk, or capacity; inferior in dimensions, extent, or duration: as, less honor or reward; less profit or possessions; less time; less distance; less scope or range; the reward is less than he deserves; a man of less courage or ability; an article of less, weight or value.
    • less Not so great, considerable, or important; of smaller scope or consequence; lower in the scale: as, St. James the Less; his honors are less than his deserts.
    • less Synonyms Smaller, Less, Fewer. Smaller is rather more exact than less, but is used freely of persons and of things both concrete and abstract: as, a smaller man, soul, size. Less is not used of persons: as, less trouble, happiness, size, degree; less of an evil. With reference to size and number, the proper words are smaller and fewer. “This apple is less than that,” “There were less people there than I expected,” are inelegant and erroneous, although similar expressions are often used both in speech and in writing. While the latter, however, is in excusable, the former may be used sparingly without offense in certain collocations, especially in poetry. The allusion to the mustard-seed in Mark iv. 31 appears to be the only example in the Bible of the use of less in the sense of ‘smaller in size.’ In Shakspere's plays the word occurs more than two hundred times, and in Milton's poems more than a hundred; in the former it is used only four or five times and in the latter three times in the sense of ‘smaller in size,’ and never in that of ‘fewer.’
    • less In a smaller or lower degree; to an inferior extent, amount, etc.; in a decreased or abated way or manner: as, less prudent; less carefully executed; to exaggerate less; to think less of a person.
    • less To make less; lessen.
    • less To become less; lessen.
    • less Unless.
    • less A common English suffix forming, from nouns, adjectives meaning ‘without’ (lacking, wanting, void of, destitute of) the thing or quality denoted by the noun: as. childless, without a child; fatherless, without a father; endless, without end; hopeless, without hope; leafless, without leaves; shameless, without shame; so motherless, penniless, faithless, godless, graceless, lawless, witless, remediless, tasteless, etc. It is applicable to any noun of which absence or destitution may be asserted. It is opposed to -ful, and is usually equivalent to the negative un- preflxed to an adjective in -ful, -y, -ing, or -ed, as unhopeful, unwitty, unending, unmatched, etc., equivalent to hopeless, witless, endless, matchless, etc. It is in some cases attached to a verb, or to a word rare as a noun while common as a verb, as in ceaseless, doless, fadeless, relentless, repentless, shunless, etc.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The pigmy shrew a relative of the mole is the smallest mammal in North America. It weighs 1/14 ounce less than a dime.
    • adj Less les (serves as comp. of little) diminished: smaller
    • adv Less not so much: in a lower degree
    • n Less a smaller portion:
    • n Less (B.) the inferior or younger
    • ***


  • George S. Kaufman
    George S. Kaufman
    “I like terra firma; the more firma, the less terra.”
  • William Hazlitt
    “We are all of us, more or less, the slaves of opinion.”
  • Susan B. Anthony
    Susan B. Anthony
    “The true Republic: men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less.”
  • Susan B. Anthony
    Susan B. Anthony
    “Men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less.”
  • Margaret Oliphant
    Margaret Oliphant
    “What happiness is there which is not purchased with more or less of pain?”
  • Turkish Proverb
    Turkish Proverb
    “It matters less to a person where they are born than where they can live.”


More haste, less speed - The faster you try to do something, the more likely you are to make mistakes that make you take longer than it would had you planned it.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
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,


In literature:

The less you make him, the less he shall be able to harm you and yours.
"Sir Walter Ralegh" by William Stebbing
To me it would be less pleasant to leave them undone; less now, than ever in my life.
"The Flag of Distress" by Mayne Reid
Henry put his hand upon that of Shif'less Sol.
"The Border Watch" by Joseph A. Altsheler
They were not less shy however, and Francois, as before, in vain tried to get a shot at one.
"Popular Adventure Tales" by Mayne Reid
As the distance from Pekin increased, the road ascended and the soil became more sandy, and contained less and less clay and black earth.
"Celebrated Travels and Travellers" by Jules Verne
The lesions may be present in scant numbers or in more or less profusion.
"Essentials of Diseases of the Skin" by Henry Weightman Stelwagon
It is about 1/7th less than the English acre.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
They become, perhaps, not less affectionate, but less demonstrative.
"The Bertrams" by Anthony Trollope
The =pileus= is first rounded, then convex and more or less expanded.
"Studies of American Fungi. Mushrooms, Edible, Poisonous, etc." by George Francis Atkinson
No doubt Mars is a small body, less even than the earth, and much less than Jupiter.
"The Story of the Heavens" by Robert Stawell Ball

In poetry:

Oh, not to reprove my brothers,
Yet I, who am less than less,
Would bring thee my joy of being
The rose of my happiness.
"Heart Of A Hundred Sorrows" by Theodosia Garrison
Less than earth to heaven, and less
Than to ages moments seem,
Is the world we now possess,
To the world of which we dream.
"Resurrection" by John Bowring
And tender less to what I am,
Than sad for what I might have been;
And walking softly before God
For my soul's sake, I ween.
"Three Friends" by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward
O, less for her than for ourselves
We bow our heads and pray;
Her setting star, like Bethlehem's,
To Thee shall point the way!
"Vesta" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Their worth we now should recognize,
Not chant it o'er their graves;
The hero of the past we prize,
No less the man who braves
"The Heroes Of Our Day" by Joseph Horatio Chant
Nay, be not so; thou can'st not be,
Less lovely to my sight;
Though darkness shade the cliff and vale,
Yet starry is the night!
"On Hearing That My Love Was Angry" by James Avis Bartley

In news:

A griculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has some harsh words for rural America: It's " becoming less and less relevant," he says.
Studies show that black dogs are less likely to be adopted because their faces are less expressive.
It was less than pundits expected the film to earn and less that the first film brought in opening weekend.
Less and less of us own a home these days despite mortgage rates at near record lows.
Republicans have been trying not to just come out and admit that their plan is to let tens of millions of Americans go without health insurance, but their obfuscations are having less and less success.
Tolls are often less than $1 and the highest toll to date is $2.85, far less than the $5 or $6 high mark planners predicted.
Cortland may be a little less crowded next summer.ESPN president John Skipper has told producers the cable giant needs to spend less time talking about Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow.I.
No resident has ever asked the city government to be less transparent, less effective or less efficient.
Less staff means less attention on you, the patient.
Less can be better with hardware that consumes less space, less energy, and less of your budget.
The perfusion study is less expensive than a more invasive test, takes less time, and is safe for patients, George said.
Dishwashers built since January must use about 9 percent less electricity and 27 percent less water to meet the federal EPA's voluntary Energy Star standard.
LGBT Missourians tend to be less healthy, have less access to care.
Live long enough, and the phrase "the end of an era" begins to look less and less like an empty clich.
In order to be considered energy efficient , a tool, appliance, heating, or cooling system needs to simply use less energy than its basic, and less efficient , counterpart.

In science:

As the collision velocity increases, less and less interaction takes place, until the initial solitons pass through one another unchanged (elastically).
Polychromatic solitons in a quadratic medium
However, as it approaches equilibrium, the mixing becomes less and less efficient and the system settles on a stationary state which is not the most mixed state.
Generalized thermodynamics and Fokker-Planck equations. Applications to stellar dynamics, two-dimensional turbulence and Jupiter's great red spot
More recent COBE-normalized ΛCDM simulations yield less flattened and less triaxial (i.e. more spherical) halos (Bullock 2002).
On the Spiral Structure of NGC 2915 and Dark Matter
For a co-rotation, the net speed as well as the kinetic energy of matter is less, producing less temperature.
Unification to the "Pseudo-General-Relativistic" analysis of accretion disks around rotating black holes and neutron stars
For α > 0, larger amplitudes are less probable, so we expect that the maximum encountered out of Np pulses generally will be less than S2 .
Searches for Giant Pulses from Extragalactic Pulsars