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[les] /lɛs/

adverb, a compar. of little with least as superl.
to a smaller extent, amount, or degree:
less exact.
most certainly not (often preceded by much or still):
He could barely pay for his own lodging, much less for that of his friend.
in any way different; other:
He is nothing less than a thief.
adjective, a compar. of little with least as superl.
smaller in size, amount, degree, etc.; not so large, great, or much:
less money; less speed.
lower in consideration, rank, or importance:
no less a person than the manager.
less than a dozen.
a smaller amount or quantity:
Hundreds of soldiers arrived, but less of them remained.
something inferior or not as important:
He was tortured for less.
minus; without:
a year less two days; six dollars less tax.
less than, by far short of being; not in the least; hardly at all:
The job is less than perfect.

(usually preceded by no) lower in rank or importance: no less a man than the president, St James the Less
(informal) no less, used to indicate surprise or admiration, often sarcastic, at the preceding statement: she says she’s been to Italy, no less
less of, to a smaller extent or degree: we see less of John these days, less of a success than I’d hoped
the comparative of little (sense 1): she walks less than she should, less quickly, less beautiful
much less, still less, used to reinforce a negative: we don’t like it, still less enjoy it
think less of, to have a lower opinion of
subtracting; minus: three weeks less a day

Old English læs (adv.), læssa (adj.), comparative of læs “small;” from Proto-Germanic *lais-izo “smaller” (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian les “less;” Middle Dutch lise “soft, gentle,” German leise “soft”), from PIE root *leis- “small” (cf. Lithuanian liesas “thin”). Formerly also “younger,” as a translation of Latin minor, a sense now obsolete except in James the Less. Used as a comparative of little, but not related to it. The noun is Old English læsse.
In addition to the idiom beginning with


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