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lesser Line breaks: less¦er
Pronunciation: /ˈlɛsə/

Definition of lesser in English:


1Not so great or important as the other or the rest: he was convicted of a lesser assault charge they nest mostly in Alaska and to a lesser extent in Siberia
less important, minor, secondary, subsidiary, marginal, ancillary, auxiliary, supplementary, supplemental, peripheral;
inferior, slighter, insignificant, unimportant, petty;
1.1Lower in rank or quality: you’re looking down your nose at us lesser mortals
More example sentences
  • Perhaps lesser mortals in this field should wait for the hearings?
  • He showed no signs of jet lag, again something lesser mortals complain of.
  • Instead, it's how they deal with the stuff that would sink a far lesser talent.
subordinate, minor, inferior, second-class, subservient, lowly, humble, servile, menial, mean;
1.2Used in names of animals and plants which are smaller than similar kinds, e.g. lesser spotted woodpecker, lesser celandine.


the lesser evil (or the lesser of two evils)
The less unpleasant of two undesirable possibilities: authoritarianism may seem a lesser evil than abject poverty
More example sentences
  • I am not in favour of war but believe that it may be the lesser of two evils.
  • This greatly reduces our available choices, and, in the end, we are not necessarily choosing the best candidate, we are choosing the lesser of two evils.
  • The corruption and bloodshed have become so unbearable in a few countries that some people long for the return of the old colonial powers, that now seem to be the lesser of two evils.


Middle English: a double comparative, from less + -er2.

Words that rhyme with lesser

addresser, aggressor, assessor, compressor, confessor, contessa, depressor, digresser, dresser, guesser, intercessor, Odessa, oppressor, possessor, professor, represser, successor, transgressor, Vanessa
Definition of lesser in:
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