Definitions

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

  • adj. Smaller in amount, value, or importance, especially in a comparison between two things: chose the lesser evil.
  • adj. Of a smaller size than other, similar forms: the lesser anteater.
  • adv. Less. Used before a participle: a lesser-known writer.
  • n. One that is lower in importance, rank, magnitude, or degree: the lesser of two evils.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. comparative form of little: more little
  • adj. of two things, the smaller in size, value, importance etc.
  • n. a thing that is of smaller size, value, importance etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Less; smaller; inferior.
  • adv. Less.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Less; smaller; minor.
  • In a smaller degree; less.
  • To less purpose.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. of less size or importance
  • adj. smaller in size or amount or value

Etymologies

Middle English, from lesse, less; see less.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
less +‎ -er (Wiktionary)

Examples

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