(used, as after comparative adjectives and adverbs, to introduce the second member of an unequal comparison): She's taller than I am.
(used after some adverbs and adjectives expressing choice or diversity, such as other, otherwise, else, anywhere, or different, to introduce an alternative or denote a difference in kind, place, style, identity, etc.): I had no choice other than that. You won't find such freedom anywhere else than in this country.
(used to introduce the rejected choice in expressions of preference): I'd rather walk than drive there.
except; other than: We had no choice than to return home.
when: We had barely arrived than we had to leave again.
in relation to; by comparison with (usually followed by a pronoun in the objective case): He is a person than whom I can imagine no one more courteous.
Than occurs as a preposition in the old and well-established construction than whom : a musician than whom none is more expressive. In informal, especially uneducated, speech and writing, than is usually treated as a preposition and followed by the objective case of the pronoun: He is younger than me. She plays better poker than him, but you play even better than her. See also but1, different, me.
- than , then
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024
How to use than in a sentence
And yet as Robert Ward discovered, Marvin—for all of his larger-than-life machismo—was surprising in real life.The Story Behind Lee Marvin’s Liberty Valance Smile | Robert Ward | January 3, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
My younger, straighter-than-an-arrow son was stopped and arrested in two separate jurisdictions a few years ago.
He was the larger-than-the-life figure, and he loomed impossibly large over this campaign.Former Providence Mayor & Ex-Con Buddy Cianci's Redemption Tour Goes Bust | David Freedlander | November 4, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Barack Obama is in for a rougher-than-usual couple of months.
Kim is mocking the entire value system on which she built her career, as well as her own less-than-savory past.
Jack probably learned more about the Bible during that trip-its history and its heroes-than during all his former years.Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete | Albert Bigelow Paine
"The Wright brothers invented the lighter-than-air ship early in the twentieth century," he said.The Lost Warship | Robert Moore Williams
Rugel told him that this was the moment of equilibrium, the peak of the faster-than-light motion.The Colors of Space | Marion Zimmer Bradley
The competitor who paid the less-than-carload rate on an equal volume of business would be sadly handicapped.Railroads: Rates and Regulations | William Z. Ripley
Altogether, it was not until the nineteenth century that any real progress toward flight in a heavier-than-air machine was made.The Romance of Aircraft | Lawrence Yard Smith
British Dictionary definitions for than
used to introduce the second element of a comparison, the first element of which expresses difference: shorter than you; couldn't do otherwise than love him; he swims faster than I run
used after adverbs such as rather or sooner to introduce a rejected alternative in an expression of preference: rather than be imprisoned, I shall die
other than besides; in addition to
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with than
see actions speak louder than words; bark is worse than one's bite; better late than never; better safe than sorry; better than; bite off more than one can chew; blood is thicker than water; easier said than done; eyes are bigger than one's stomach; in (less than) no time; irons in the fire, more than one; less than; more dead than alive; more fun than a barrel of monkeys; more in sorrow than in anger; more often than not; 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; none other than; no sooner said than done; other than; quicker than you can say Jack Robinson; wear another (more than one) hat.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.