• WordNet 3.6
    • adj lesser smaller in size or amount or value "the lesser powers of Europe","the lesser anteater"
    • adj lesser of less size or importance "the lesser anteater","the lesser of two evils"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The Beatles were George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr. But there were also two lesser known, previous members of the band: Pete Best and Stu Sutcliffe.
    • adv Lesser Less.
    • a Lesser lĕs"ẽr Less; smaller; inferior.Lesser is used for less, now the compar. of little, in certain special instances in which its employment has become established by custom; as, Lesser Asia (i. e., Asia Minor), the lesser light, and some others; also in poetry, for the sake of the meter, and in prose where its use renders the passage more euphonious. "God made . . . the lesser light to rule the night.""The more my prayer, the lesser is my grace.""The larger here, and there the lesser lambs.""By the same reason may a man, in the state of nature, punish the lesser breaches of the law."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • lesser Less; smaller; minor.
    • lesser In a smaller degree; less.
    • lesser To less purpose.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Lesser les′ėr (B.) less: smaller: inferior.
    • ***


  • Jerry Garcia
    Jerry Garcia
    “Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.”
  • Pete Sampras
    Pete Sampras
    “The difference of great players is at a certain point in a match they raise their level of play and maintain it. Lesser players play great for a set, but then less.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “The measure of a truly great man is the courtesy with which he treats lesser men.”
  • Buddha
    “If a man who enjoys a lesser happiness beholds a greater one, let him leave aside the lesser to gain the greater.”
  • Baltasar Gracian
    “Never open the door to a lesser evil, for other ones invariably slink in after it.”
  • Max Lerner
    “When you choose the lesser of two evils, always remember that it is still an evil.”


Lesser of two evils - Something that is the lesser of two evils, is an unpleasant option, but not as bad as the other.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
This word is formed by adding anew the compar. suffix -er,in which r, is from an original s,) to less,. See Less (a.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A double comp. formed from less.


In literature:

How often I longed to go to you with my great trouble as I used to do with lesser ones.
"Moods" by Louisa May Alcott
Lesser discrepancies were at that time regarded as falling within the limits of observational error.
"A Popular History of Astronomy During the Nineteenth Century" by Agnes M. (Agnes Mary) Clerke
Great excitement immediately prevailed in Sofia and Vienna, and in Berlin and St. Petersburg to a lesser degree.
"The Story of the Great War, Volume I (of 8)" by Various
Are the two lesser stars consumed after the manner of the solar spots?
"The Astronomy of Milton's 'Paradise Lost'" by Thomas Orchard
Now, abruptly, the lesser emotions were overwhelmed by the might of his rage.
"Heart of the Blue Ridge" by Waldron Baily
The lesser dignitaries sat on smaller chairs in rows facing the throne.
"The Saracen: Land of the Infidel" by Robert Shea
It was upon a lesser, a merely human strength, that she found herself dwelling.
"Amabel Channice" by Anne Douglas Sedgwick
Then, without warning, came Bruce's nomination, with a splendid list of lesser candidates, and upon a most progressive platform.
"Counsel for the Defense" by Leroy Scott
But God, who hath appointed visions unto great men, doth set each lesser human life between its dream and its task.
"A Man's Value to Society" by Newell Dwight Hillis
So Grom gave the lesser reason, which all, including himself, could understand.
"In the Morning of Time" by Charles G. D. Roberts
The federation is composed of these lesser organizations.
"The Next Step" by Scott Nearing
The royal countenance is against them set, Ill merchants trafficking with his lesser moods!
"Legends of the Saxon Saints" by Aubrey de Vere
Colonel Abercrombie was killed, and many others of lesser note.
"The Siege of Boston" by Allen French
They were popularly supposed to inhabit the lesser moon, from which they descended upon Barsoom at long intervals.
"The Gods of Mars" by Edgar Rice Burroughs
It was going to sweep the lesser gate to-night.
"The House Under the Sea" by Sir Max Pemberton
Night came, noticeable for its lesser energy possibilities, and then more days and nights.
"The Leech" by Phillips Barbee
And as it is with the greater laws, so it should, the Buddhist thinks, be with the lesser laws.
"The Soul of a People" by H. Fielding
The consulting group of warriors split and from it, riding with slow dignity toward the wagons, came two chiefs and two lesser warriors.
"Bring Me His Ears" by Clarence E. Mulford
The ancient shrank away from him, as did the nearer of the lesser chiefs.
"Astounding Stories, June, 1931" by Various
This gives a key to my mode of existence, for several months following, though my luxury was of a lesser scale.
"The Portal of Dreams" by Charles Neville Buck

In poetry:

We are worn with wisdom that never brings
Peace to the world and its woe--
For a space with Thy joyous lesser things,
Teach me the faith I would know.
"A Pagan Prayer" by Virna Sheard
Religion's flight shone clear and bright,
And then the lesser lights appear'd;
Learning arose with quiet might,
And simple minds it rais'd and cheer'd.
"St. Patrick's Day" by Thomas Frederick Young
A thousand years between the sun and sea
Britannia held her court of liberty,
And cradled heroes in the questing waves
That were for lesser men but wandering graves.
"Command of the Air" by Anonymous British
Great feelings has she of her own,
Which lesser souls may never know;
God giveth them to her alone,
And sweet they are as any tone
Wherewith the wind may choose to blow.
"My Love" by James Russell Lowell
Yet must my love go with thee — all apart
From this the life I lend to lesser things;
God send to thee this night beneath its wings,
A little peace, Oh, great unhappy heart.
"A Song Of Heloise" by Theodosia Garrison
And he:—O promising despair,
in solitude— —End there.
Your avenues are dying: leave me: I dove
under the oaken arms of Brother Martin,
St Simeon the Lesser Theologian,
Bodhidharma, and Baal Shem Tov.
"Dream Song 17: Muttered Henry:—Lord of matter, thus" by John Berryman

In news:

Living, as they subsequently did, for greater or lesser periods of time, under the control of the Ottoman Turks, left a permanent mark on all the Balkans .
For Christopher Nolan's third turn at Batman, the director tapped a familiar foe in Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman) and a lesser-known one in Bane .
Similar viruses have been found in Japanese house bats and lesser bamboo bats , not pictured.
Based on the European-spec Volkswagen Beetle Sport model, the R-Line packages visually upgrade the coupe, distinguishing it from lesser Beetles .
Researchers studied the movement and temperature preference of the lesser grain borer in a 22-inch diameter cylinder.
Other former NBA players from the same era with lesser résumés.
Some bright spots in a lesser 'Madame Butterfly '.
Free beverage must be of equal or lesser value.
Two teens have pleaded guilty to lesser charges in the death of a cab driver in Hickory last year.
To those who supported my Green New Deal platform but voted for the "lesser evil," I understand.
Living the hip-hop life with a lesser-known son of Tom Hanks, who badly wants to be famous for something else.
Weir says that this tour will offer a plethora of songs composed for the Grateful Dead as well as lesser-played solo album tracks that don't fit into his Ratdog and Furthur performances.
New, Lesser Storm May Hit East Coast .
It's a lesser-known but more exclusive enclave on the coast of Rhode Island, and it's a favorite for second-home owners from New York.
Timothy Grammel, told the panel to consider three lesser offenses if they can't agree on the most serious offense.

In science:

For lesser values of Reθ a small but systematic parallel shift is observed (see [2 ]).
A Note on the Intermediate Region in Turbulent Boundary Layers
Please note that the scaling behavior of h < hc is worse than for h > hc (also, to a lesser extent, in Fig. 7).
Critical exponents of four-dimensional random-field Ising systems
Questions of lesser importance concern the number of distinct sites visited by the walker, its return to the origin probability or the algebraic area swept (still restraining the average to surviving paths).
Trapping of a random walk by diffusing traps
For the purposes of measuring line indices (and to a lesser extent, radial velocities), it is important to determine the fraction of light that went through the fiber that is from the targeted globular cluster.
The Globular Cluster System of NGC 5128 I. Survey and Catalogs
And similarly for lesser, i.e. logically weaker, information than the entire worldline segment.
On the Persistence of Homogeneous Matter
This is e.g. the case of ν ¯ν versus b¯b and (to a lesser extent) versus τ ¯τ .
Spectra of neutrinos from dark matter annihilations
The difference is significant compared to the much lesser (in principle zero, as ω is increased without limit) difference between the Schwarzschild and JFBD theory and its measurement could observationally distinguish between JF and EF.
Brans-Dicke theory: Jordan vs Einstein Frame
Instead, for PC1 the loadings are dominated by the temporal parameters T90 , T50 , τ , and to a lesser extent V .
Statistical analysis of BATSE gamma-ray bursts: Self-similarity and the Amati-relation
In PC2 we see roughly the complementary pattern, with significant loadings for the spectral gro up of variables, in particular Epk and to a lesser extent REpk and α, but also SF .
Statistical analysis of BATSE gamma-ray bursts: Self-similarity and the Amati-relation
AWNGN was significantly lesser than those estimated on AWGN.
Interpreting non-random signatures in biomedical signals with Lempel-Ziv complexity
In comparison, questions of information transfer and strength of information seem lesser differences.
Remarks on Inheritance Systems
The models we construct are idealized to a greater or lesser extent, depending on how much care is needed to achieve sufficient empirical accuracy.
Lie fields revisited
Aside from making the cats directly using a strong, low loss Kerr effect, all of these methods involve preparation of the light using a lesser nonlinearity and postselecting on some measurement.
Methods for Producing Optical Coherent State Superpositions
Ol’shanskii, Genericity of the class of groups in which subgroups with a lesser number of generators are free, (Russian) Mat.
On group-theoretic models of randomness and genericity
In FCC measurement with stopping it is seen that ageing makes the system stiffer with time resulting in lesser response of the spins with field.
Changeover from Glassy ferromagnetism of the orbital domain state to long range ferromagnetic ordering in La{_{0.9}}Sr_{0.1}MnO{_3}