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.

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