Idioms about less
Origin of less
synonym study for less
words often confused with less
Modern standard English practice does not reflect this distinction. When followed by than, less occurs at least as often as fewer in modifying plural nouns that are not units or groups, and the use of less in this construction is increasing in all varieties of English: less than eight million people; no less than 31 of the 50 states. When not followed by than, fewer is more frequent only in formal written English, and in this construction also the use of less is increasing: This year we have had less crimes, less accidents, and less fires than in any of the last five years.
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH lessfewer, less (see confusables note at the current entry)
Words nearby less
Other definitions for less (2 of 2)
Origin of -less
What is a basic definition of less?
Less refers to a comparatively smaller amount, quantity, or degree and can be used in this sense as an adverb, adjective, or noun. Less has several other senses as an adverb, adjective, noun, and a preposition.
Less is a comparative form of the word little, with the word least being the superlative. If something is described as less, it is “more little” than something else. Specifically, less by itself often means a smaller number or amount rather than physical size.
Less can be used in this sense as an adverb, adjective, or a noun. Because less is a comparative, it must be used to compare two or more things to make sense. For example, “This house is less” makes no sense by itself. You might wonder. “Less what?” When we include the item we are comparing the house to, you can understand what we mean: That house is really expensive, but this house costs less.
- Real-life examples: Used cars often cost less than new ones. You will earn less money in your first job than in your last job. You might start out with a lot of questions, but as you learn you may have less.
- Used in a sentence: I really need to start eating less.
We want to make sure nobody gets less food than anyone else.
When it comes to using pink paint, less is more.
The word less is often confused with the word fewer. For the most part, you can use the words less and fewer as synonyms when comparing amounts of things.
However, less can compare abstract, uncountable qualities, while fewer cannot. For example, one dog can be said to be less playful than another, but it cannot be said to be “fewer playful” than another.
Where does less come from?
The first records of less come from before 900. It ultimately comes from the Old English adverb lǣs and adjective lǣssa. It is related to the Old Frisian adverb lês and adjective lêssa.
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What are some other forms related to less?
- lesser (adverb and adjective)
What are some synonyms for less?
What are some words that share a root or word element with less?
What are some words that often get used in discussing less?
What are some words less may be commonly confused with?
How is less used in real life?
Less is an incredibly common word that is most often used to describe something having a smaller or lower degree, amount, or quantity.
I really need to get hobbies that cost less money…
— Ashlee Spring (@summerannspring) February 1, 2021
I haven't been less excited for a Super Bowl since…..ever. Is this typical for fans of the team that fall one game short?
— The CoolTechDad (@TheCoolTechDad) February 1, 2021
You'll be seeing less of me on Twitter when the temperature finally breaks 50 degrees, which I believe will now happen in mid-July.
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) March 20, 2015
Try using less!
True or False?
A chair that costs $30 is less expensive than one that costs $20.
How to use less in a sentence
Submission is less a novel of ideas than a political book, and of the most subversive kind.Houellebecq’s Incendiary Novel Imagines France With a Muslim President|Pierre Assouline|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Back in New York, the slow pace and inward focus of her yoga practice was less fulfilling.How Taryn Toomey’s ‘The Class’ Became New York’s Latest Fitness Craze|Lizzie Crocker|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
For many years afterward it was a never-ending topic of conversation, and is more or less talked of even to this day.New York’s Most Tragic Ghost Loves Minimalist Swedish Fashion|Nina Strochlic|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
No one wants to align with less freedom at a time like this.Politicians Only Love Journalists When They're Dead|Luke O’Neil|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
The pulps brought new readers to serious fiction, making it less intimidating with alluring art and low prices.
In less than ten minutes, the bivouac was broken up, and our little army on the march.
He was too drowsy to hold the thought more than a moment in his mind, much less to reflect upon it.The Wave|Algernon Blackwood
He did believe you, more or less, and what you said fell in with his own impressions—strange impressions that they were, poor man!Confidence|Henry James
One would not have wanted her white neck a mite less full or her beautiful arms more slender.The Awakening and Selected Short Stories|Kate Chopin
With childlike confidence he follows the advice of some more or less honest dealer.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3)|Charles James Wills
British Dictionary definitions for less (1 of 2)
- the comparative of little (def. 1) less sugar; less spirit than before
- (as pronoun; functioning as sing or plural)she has less than she needs; the less you eat, the less you want
Word Origin for less
usage for less
British Dictionary definitions for less (2 of 2)
Word Origin for -less
Other Idioms and Phrases with less
In addition to the idiom beginning with less
- less than
- couldn't care less
- in (less than) no time
- more or less
- much less