Pronunciation: (les), [key]
—adv., a compar. of little with least as superl.
1. to a smaller extent, amount, or degree: less exact.
2. most certainly not (often prec. by much or still): He could barely pay for his own lodging, much less for that of his friend.
3. in any way different; other: He is nothing less than a thief.
4. less than, by far short of being; not in the least; hardly at all: The job is less than perfect.
—adj., a compar. of little with least as superl.
1. smaller in size, amount, degree, etc.; not so large, great, or much: less money; less speed.
2. lower in consideration, rank, or importance: no less a person than the manager.
3. fewer: less than a dozen.
1. a smaller amount or quantity: Hundreds of soldiers arrived, but less of them remained.
2. something inferior or not as important: He was tortured for less.
minus; without: a year less two days; six dollars less tax.
an adjective suffix meaning “without” (childless; peerless), and in adjectives derived from verbs, indicating failure or inability to perform or be performed (resistless; tireless).
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.