Definition of less determiner from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



determiner, pronoun
BrE BrE//les//
; NAmE NAmE//les//
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  •  used with uncountable nouns to mean ‘a smaller amount of’ less butter/time/importance He was advised to smoke fewer cigarettes and drink less beer. We have less to worry about now. It is less of a problem than I'd expected. We'll be there in less than no time (= very soon). The victory was nothing less than a miracle. People often use less with countable nounsThere were less cars on the road then. This is not considered correct by some people, and fewer should be used instead.
  • Word OriginOld English lǣssa, of Germanic origin; related to Old Frisian lēssa, from an Indo-European root shared by Greek loisthos ‘last’.Idioms  smaller and smaller amounts As time passed, she saw less and less of all her old friends at home. (saying) include only what is essential in order to create an effective product or result His simple, elegant paintings reflect his principle that less is more. (often ironic) used to suggest that something is surprising or impressive She's having lunch with the Director, no less. used to emphasize a large amount The guide contains details of no less than 115 hiking routes.
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: less