American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- conj. Used after a comparative adjective or adverb to introduce the second element or clause of an unequal comparison: She is a better athlete than I.
- conj. Used to introduce the second element after certain words indicating difference: He draws quite differently than she does.
- conj. When. Used especially after hardly and scarcely: I had scarcely walked in the door than the commotion started.
- prep. Usage Problem In comparison or contrast with: could run faster than him; outclassed everyone other than her.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- At that time; then. See then.
- A particle used after comparatives, and certain words which express comparison or diversity, such as more, better, other, otherwise, rather, else, etc., and introducing the second member of a comparison. Than has the same case (usually the nominative) after it as it has before it, in accordance with the syntactical rule that “conjunctions connect … the same cases of nouns and pronouns”: as, he is taller than I (am); I am richer than he (is); “thrice fairer than (I) myself (am)” (Shak., Venus and Adonis, 1.7); they like you better than (they like) me.
- Sometimes the preceding comparative is left to be inferred from the context; sometimes it is omitted from mere carelessness. A noun or a pronoun after than has a show of analogy with one governed by a preposition, and is sometimes blunderingly put in the objective case even when properly of subjective value: as, none knew better than him. Even Milton says than whom, and this is more usual: for example, than whom there is none better.
- conj. obsolete, archaic or dialectal (usually used with for) Because; for.
- conj. Used in comparisons, to introduce the basis of comparison.
- prep. introduces a comparison, and is associated with comparatives, and with words such as more, less, and fewer. Typically, it seeks to measure the force of an adjective or similar description between two predicates.
- adv. At that time; then.
GNU Webster's 1913
- conj. A particle expressing comparison, used after certain adjectives and adverbs which express comparison or diversity, as
more, better, other, otherwise, and the like. It is usually followed by the object compared in the nominative case. Sometimes, however, the object compared is placed in the objective case, and thanis then considered by some grammarians as a preposition. Sometimes the object is expressed in a sentence, usually introduced by that.
- adv. obsolete Then. See then.
- From Middle English than, thanne, from Old English þanne, a variant of þonne ("then, since, because"), from Proto-Germanic *þana (“at that, at that time, then”). Cognate with Dutch dan ("than"), German denn ("than"), German dann ("then"). More at then. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old English thanne, than. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Well, said Tom, with cold scorn, if your feelings are so much better than mine, let me see you show them in some other way than by conduct thats likely to disgrace us all, than by ridiculous flights first into one extreme and then into another.”
“He had urged the government in his last letters before leaving France to send it not later than a fortnight after he himself had sailed: The convoy will cross much more safely now under the guard of two warships, he had written to Montbarey, than it will in a month with an escort of thirty, when the English are ready.”
“OR, _adv. _ before, as _Or this_, before this time; rather than, _Or than_, before then.”
“IV. iv.441 (351,7) [Not hold thee of our blood, no, not our kin, Far than Deucalion off] I think for _far than_ we should read _far as_.”
“The banking powers are more despotic than monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy.”
“Evil also is the teaching that repentance is higher than purity: "joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenth, _more than_ over ninety and nine just persons which need no repentance" (Luke xv.”
“No, its not a mafia-endorsed wine Hey, better the head on the label than in the bed!”
“While the Iranian regime is often called crazy, it has done much less to merit the term than did a regime such as Mao's China.”
“Often I treat Christ more like a label than a person.”
“While I continue to suspect, based on my own experience and history of interactions, that there are more agnostics as I understand the term than 'pure' atheists, it seems, based on these responses, that there are more 'true' atheists than I'd thought.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘than’.
Words to be replaced by a paragraph mark if you are after terms and MWEs.
I think we all know the feeling. I will post examples as they come to me. Perhaps some sort of connecting thread will be found.
See comments on pipsiculture and homosexuality, which have nothing to do with each other except that I read comments on them at around the same time on the same day.
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Looking for tweets for than.