adjective, compar. of much or many with most as superl.
adverb compar. of much with most as superl.
- to some extent; somewhat: She seemed more or less familiar with the subject.
- about; in substance; approximately: We came to more or less the same conclusion.
Origin of more
British Dictionary definitions for more or less (1 of 2)
British Dictionary definitions for more or less (2 of 2)
- additional; furtherno more bananas
- (as pronoun; functioning as sing or plural)I can't take any more; more than expected
- as an estimate; approximately
- to an unspecified extent or degreethe party was ruined, more or less
Word Origin for more
Word Origin and History for more or less
Old English mara "greater, more, stronger, mightier," used as a comparative of micel "great" (see mickle), from Proto-Germanic *maizon- (cf. Old Saxon mera, Old Norse meiri, Old Frisian mara, Middle Dutch mere, Old High German mero, German mehr), from PIE *meis- (cf. Avestan mazja "greater," Old Irish mor "great," Welsh mawr "great," Greek -moros "great," Oscan mais "more"), from root *me- "big." Sometimes used as an adverb in Old English ("in addition"), but Old English generally used related ma "more" as adverb and noun. This became Middle English mo, but more in this sense began to predominate in later Middle English.
"Take some more tea," the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.
"I've had nothing yet," Alice replied in an offended tone, "so I can't take more."
"You mean you can't take less," said the Hatter: "it's very easy to take more than nothing."
More or less "in a greater or lesser degree" is from early 13c.; appended to a statement to indicate approximation, from 1580s.
Idioms and Phrases with more or less (1 of 2)
more or less
Approximately, as in The truck will hold nine yards of dirt, more or less. This usage was first recorded in 1589.
Basically, essentially, as in We more or less agree on the substance of the letter. This usage was first recorded about 1225.
Idioms and Phrases with more or less (2 of 2)
In addition to the idioms beginning with more
- more and more
- more bang for the buck
- more dead than alive
- more fun than a barrel of monkeys
- more in sorrow than in anger
- more often than not
- more or less
- more power to someone
- more sinned against than sinning
- more than meets the eye
- more than one bargained for
- more than one can shake a stick at
- more than one way to skin a cat
- more the merrier, the
- bite off more than one can chew
- irons in the fire, more than one
- wear another (more than one) hat
- what is more