determiner & pronoun
- 1A smaller amount of; not as much: [as determiner]: the less time spent there, the better [as pronoun]: storage is less of a problem than it used to be ready in less than an hourMore example sentences
- I appreciate trying to save money and being less of a consumer and all those other good things.
- So, the lower the charges, the less of your money is gobbled up and the better chance you have of matching the market.
- Also, they frequently carry outrageously high charges, so less of your money goes to work on day one.
- 1.1Fewer in number: [as pronoun]: a population of less than 200,000More example sentences
a smaller amount than, not so/as much as, under, below
- In most cases fast greens present less problems when drawing around a blocking bowl.
- It can be shown for example that there were less that 5000 men present but this is not of any importance.
- Yes, but it would present less difficulties once it is acknowledged that the writ is almost as of right.
adjective• archaic Back to top
adverbBack to top
- 1To a smaller extent; not so much: he listened less to the answer than to Kate’s voice that this is a positive stereotype makes it no less a stereotypeMore example sentences
to a lesser degree, to a smaller extent, not so/as much
- That is part of the answer, but a less important part than the nature of the new legislation.
- To some extent the presence or absence of fine writing is even less important to me here than it is with people journals.
- The same trend applies, albeit to a less impressive extent, in the abbreviated format.
- 1.1 (less than) Far from; certainly not: Mitch looked less than happy the data was less than idealMore example sentences
- The examination she was put through was less than thorough
- There was some constant fuzz on the track, so the clarity was less than perfect.
- Graham was less than pleased.
prepositionBack to top
in less than no time
- • informal Very quickly or soon.More example sentences
- There was no time to parley, so I climbed a tree in less than no time, and had presence of mind to take my gun with me.
- The light filtering between the boards wakens me up, and in less than no time I go and test the light switch.
- Follow the road east or west to reach historic towns, eclectic fishing villages and flume crazy waterparks in less than no time.
less and less
- At a continually decreasing rate.More example sentences
- America is sliding toward a firmer belief in the inequality of men and believes less and less in the unity of the human species.
- The chance of people learning by experience gets less and less as the jobs become few and far between.
- This is happening less and less, though the laid-back Holmes claims he never got uptight about it.
less is more
- Used to express the view that a minimalist approach to artistic or aesthetic matters is more effective.More example sentences
- Well I think in many cases less is more.
- You could sum the site up by saying less is more.
- Remember you can still look sexy without revealing all your goods; less is more!
much (or still) less
- Used to introduce something as being even less likely or suitable than something else already mentioned: what woman would consider a date with him, much less a marriage?More example sentences
- In poor countries with under-resourced police departments, enforcement is still less likely.
- Lynch does not mention a battle, still less a location for one.
- She does not acknowledge the tremendous task she has already embarked upon, still less what she has achieved.
- Used to suggest, often ironically, that something is surprising or impressive: Peter cooked dinner—fillet steak and champagne, no lessMore example sentences
- Day three took us to a site no less impressive, aptly named Mysterious Lagoon.
- Having scooped a major award, covered by the Times no less, neither paper has said a thing about this!
- So it wants a legal framework to bring about the industrialisation of drug production, no less.
- (no less than) Used to emphasize a surprisingly large amount.More example sentences
- After all, in their case, the plate on their car could amount to no less than one third of the price of the car.
- That test has been applied in this Court on no less than eight subsequent occasions.
- If you include the doll made in his likeness, there are no less than six incarnations of Pekar in the film.
Old English lǣssa, of Germanic origin; related to Old Frisian lēssa, from an Indo-European root shared by Greek loisthos 'last'.
In standard English, less should be used only with uncountable things ( less money ; less time ). With countable things, it is incorrect to use less: thus, less people and less words should be corrected to fewer people and fewer words . See also few (usage).