WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
less /lɛs/USA pronunciation adv., [a comparative of little with least as superlative.] to a smaller length, amount, or degree:a less-developed country. [much/still + ~] to say nothing of:I could barely pay for my own meal, much less hers. [with a negative word or phrase] in any way different; other:He's nothing less than a thief.
adj., [a compar. of little with least as superl.] smaller in size, amount, degree, etc.:He has less money than before. lower in consideration, rank, or importance:complained to no less a person than the mayor (= to no one ranking lower than the mayor). fewer:There were less than ten speakers before me.
n. [uncountable] a smaller amount or quantity:She eats less every day. something not as important:People have been imprisoned for less.
prep.  minus; without;
subtracting:a year less two days.
    Idiomsless and less, to a decreasing extent or degree:I see less and less of my sister these days.

-less, suffix. 
  • -less is attached to nouns to form adjectives with the meaning "without, not having (the thing or quality named by the noun)'':care + -less → careless; shame + -less → shameless
  • -less is also attached to verbs to form adjectives with the meaning "that cannot be'' plus the -ed/en form of the verb;
    or "that never'' plus the -s form of the verb:tire + -less → tireless (= that never tires); count + -less → countless (= that cannot be counted).

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

less /lɛs/ determiner
  1. the comparative of little: less sugar, less spirit than before
  2. (as pronoun; functioning as sing or plural): she has less than she needs, the less you eat, the less you want
  3. (usually preceded by no) lower in rank or importance: no less a man than the president, St James the Less
  4. less ofto a smaller extent or degree: we see less of John these days, less of a success than I'd hoped
  1. the comparative of little (sense 1): she walks less than she should, less quickly, less beautiful
  1. subtracting; minus: three weeks less a day
Etymology: Old English lǣssa (adj), lǣs (adv, n)
Less should not be confused with fewer. Less refers strictly only to quantity and not to number: there is less water than before. Fewer means smaller in number: there are fewer people than before

'less' also found in these entries:

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