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adverb, determiner, preposition, pronoun American English pronunciation: less /les/
Less is the comparative form of the function word little and can be used in the following ways:
as a determiner (before a noun): Eat less fat. ♦ Schools put less emphasis on being creative.
as a pronoun: Connie did less than anyone else. (followed by "of"): He seemed to spend less of his time with her.
as an adverb (before an adjective or another adverb): The red jacket is less expensive. (with a verb): I've been trying to work less on the weekends.
as a preposition (before a noun): a profit of $5,000, less tax
 
  1. 1
    used for referring to an amount that is smaller than another amount, smaller than before, or smaller than you expected

    You should eat less and exercise more.

    The industry operates with less government control these days.

    less...than:

    The new Ford is designed to use less fuel than earlier models.

    The workers earn less now than they did ten years ago.

    less of:

    I aim to spend less of my time traveling.

    a little (bit) less:

    I wish you'd do a little less talking and a little more work.

    much/a lot/far less:

    Payments will be a lot less than many people were expecting.

    There is far less trouble in the region now than there has ever been.

  2. 2
    used for saying that there is not as much of a particular quality in one person or thing as in another, or not as much as there was before

    Farmers are having to work with older, less efficient equipment.

    less...than:

    Many women are involved in the movement, but less publicly than men.

    much/a lot/far less:

    The homework was a lot less difficult than I expected.

    less of a:

    Getting there is less of a problem if you have a car.

  3. 3
    not happening as much
    1. a.
      happening or doing something fewer times or for shorter periods of time

      We've been trying to use the telephone less this month to keep costs down.

      less than:

      We talk a lot less than we used to.

    2. b.
      to a smaller degree
      less...than:

      My husband worries about things less than I do.

      not...any (the) less:

      Even after she told me, I didn't respect her any less.

  4. 5
    used for saying that one way of describing someone or something is not as true or as accurate as another
    less...than:

    His statement was less an apology than a confession.

    The problem may be less a social issue than a legal one.

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