[mawr, mohr]

adjective, compar. of much or many with most as superl.

in greater quantity, amount, measure, degree, or number: I need more money.
additional or further: Do you need more time? More discussion seems pointless.


adverb compar. of much with most as superl.


    more and more, to an increasing extent or degree; gradually more: They became involved more and more in stock speculation.
    more or less,
    1. to some extent; somewhat: She seemed more or less familiar with the subject.
    2. about; in substance; approximately: We came to more or less the same conclusion.

Origin of more

before 900; Middle English; Old English māra; cognate with Old High German mēro, Old Norse meiri, Gothic maiza. See most
Related formsmore·ness, noun
Can be confusedmoor more Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for more or less

about, almost, around, circa, relatively, roughly, thereabouts

British Dictionary definitions for more or less



Hannah. 1745–1833, English writer, noted for her religious tracts, esp The Shepherd of Salisbury Plain
Sir Thomas . 1478–1535, English statesman, humanist, and Roman Catholic Saint; Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII (1529–32). His opposition to the annulment of Henry's marriage to Catherine of Aragon and his refusal to recognize the Act of Supremacy resulted in his execution on a charge of treason. In Utopia (1516) he set forth his concept of the ideal state. Feast day: June 22 or July 6



  1. the comparative of much, many more joy than you know; more pork sausages
  2. (as pronoun; functioning as sing or plural)he has more than she has; even more are dying every day
  1. additional; furtherno more bananas
  2. (as pronoun; functioning as sing or plural)I can't take any more; more than expected
more of to a greater extent or degreewe see more of Sue these days; more of a nuisance than it should be


used to form the comparative of some adjectives and adverbsa more believable story; more quickly
the comparative of much people listen to the radio more now
additionally; againI'll look at it once more
more or less
  1. as an estimate; approximately
  2. to an unspecified extent or degreethe party was ruined, more or less
more so to a greater extent or degree
neither more nor less than simply
think more of to have a higher opinion of
what is more moreover

Word Origin for more

Old English māra; compare Old Saxon, Old High German mēro, Gothic maiza. See also most


See most
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with more or less

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.


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

also see:

  • bite off more than one can chew
  • irons in the fire, more than one
  • wear another (more than one) hat
  • what is more
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.