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English definition of “less”


determiner, pronoun, adverb     /les/
A2 a smaller amount (of), or to a smaller degree: We must try to spend less money. Exercise more and eat less. I eat less chocolate and fewer biscuits than I used to. Getting out of bed in summer is less difficult than in winter.Small in number and quantity less than ... describes behaviour that does not have a stated characteristic that is good or attractive: I think he was less than honest with me.Yes, no and not less and less If something happens less and less, it becomes gradually smaller in amount or happens less often: He's less and less able to look after himself.Becoming and making smaller or lessBecoming and making less strong Grammar:LessWe use the quantifier less to talk about reduced quantities, amounts or degree. Less is a comparative word.See moreGrammar:Less: positionWe use less with different classes of words. We use less after verbs but before every other word class:See moreGrammar:Less with nounsWe use less on its own with singular uncountable nouns:See moreGrammar:Less ofWhenever we use less before articles (a/an, the), demonstratives (this, that), possessives (my, your) or pronouns (him, it), we need of:See moreGrammar:Less without a noun (as a pronoun)We usually leave out the noun after less when the noun is understood:See moreGrammar:Less and lessWe often use less and less to emphasise a decrease in something:See moreGrammar:Less or fewer?We use the quantifiers less and fewer to talk about quantities, amounts and degree. Less and fewer are comparative words.See moreGrammar:Less and fewer with a nounWe usually use less with uncountable nouns. We use fewer with plural nouns:See moreGrammar:Less and fewer with ofWhen we use fewer or less before articles (a/an, the), demonstratives (this, that), possessives (my, your) or pronouns (him, them), we need to use of. We use less of with singular nouns and fewer of with plural nouns:See moreGrammar:Less and fewer without a nounWe can leave out the noun when it is obvious:See moreGrammar:MoreorlessMore or less means ‘mostly’, ‘nearly’ or ‘approximately’. We use it in mid position (between the subject and main verb, or after the modal verb or first auxiliary verb, or after be as a main verb). It is slightly informal:See more
(Definition of less determinerpronounadverb from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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