from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • suffix Without; lacking: blameless.
  • suffix Unable to act or be acted on in a specified way: dauntless.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • suffix Lacking (something)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A privative adjective suffix, denoting without, destitute of, not having; as witless, childless, fatherless.


Middle English -lesse, from Old English -lēas, from lēas, without; see leu- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English -lēas, from lēas ("devoid of"), from Proto-Germanic *lausaz. (Not related to less, which derives from *laisiz, *laisizô.) Cognate to German los, -los. (Wiktionary)


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