What does lesser mean?

Definitions for lesser
ˈlɛs ərless·er

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word lesser.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. lesseradjective

    of less size or importance

    "the lesser anteater"; "the lesser of two evils"

  2. lesseradjective

    smaller in size or amount or value

    "the lesser powers of Europe"; "the lesser anteater"


  1. lessernoun

    a thing that is of smaller size, value, importance etc.

  2. lesseradjective

    of two things, the smaller in size, value, importance etc.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Lesseradjective

    A barbarous corruption of less, formed by the vulgar from the habit of terminating comparatives in er; afterwards adopted by poets, and then by writers of prose.

    What great despite doth fortune to thee bear,
    Thus lowly to abase thy beauty bright,
    That it should not deface all other lesser light. Fa. Qu.

    It is the lesser blot, modesty finds,
    Women to change their shapes than men their minds. William Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona.

    The mountains, and higher parts of the earth, grow lesser and lesser from age to age: sometimes the roots of them are weakened by subterraneous fires, and sometimes tumbled by earthquakes into those caverns that are under them. Thomas Burnet, Theory of the Earth.

    Cain, after the murder of his brother, cries out, Every man that findeth me shall slay me. By the same reason may a man, in the state of nature, punish the lesser breaches of that law. John Locke.

    Any heat whatsoever promotes the ascent of mineral matter, but more especially of that which is subtile, and is consequently moveable more easily, and with a lesser power. John Woodward, Natural History.

    The larger here, and there the lesser lambs,
    The new-fall’n young herd bleating for their dams. Alexander Pope.

  2. Lesseradverb

    Etymology: formed by corruption from less.

    Some say he’s mad; others, that lesser hate him,
    Do call it valiant fury. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.


  1. Lesser

    Lesser, from Eliezer (Hebrew: אֱלִיעֶזֶר‎, Modern: Eli'ezer, Tiberian: ʼĔlîʻézer, "Help/Court of my God"), is a surname.


  1. lesser

    Lesser is an adjective referring to a smaller amount, smaller in size, or not as important. It's used to compare two or more entities or aspects, indicating that one is not as great in amount, degree, or significance as the other.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Lesseradjective

    less; smaller; inferior

  2. Lesseradverb


  3. Etymology: [This word is formed by adding anew the compar. suffix -er (in which r is from an original s) to less. See Less, a.]


  1. Lesser

    J Lesser is the stage name for Jason Doerck. Doerck was a member of the defunct laptop group Sagan, alongside Blevin Blectum, Wobbly, and video artist Ryan Junell.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Lesser

    les′ėr, adj. (B.) less: smaller: inferior. [A double comp. formed from less.]

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Lesser is ranked #8885 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Lesser surname appeared 3,686 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 1 would have the surname Lesser.

    93.2% or 3,438 total occurrences were White.
    3.3% or 124 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.1% or 44 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    1.1% or 41 total occurrences were Black.
    0.7% or 26 total occurrences were Asian.
    0.3% or 13 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

British National Corpus

  1. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'lesser' in Adjectives Frequency: #662

How to pronounce lesser?

How to say lesser in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of lesser in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of lesser in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of lesser in a Sentence

  1. Thomas Bach:

    There will be project reviews in both organizing cities (Tokyo and Pyeongchang) in January and February to follow up on this and see what the Olympic Agenda 2020 means for their organization of the Games, there of course can also be venue changes being discussed if such venue changes lead to more sustainability and to less expenses. This...can include venue changes, this can lead to lesser capacities with regard to different venues.

  2. Troy Thibodeau:

    A card in lesser condition of a stiff who never made it into the Hall of Fame might go for as little as $100, these are truly pieces of art. They're colorful, they're bright, they're folky, they're Americana.

  3. Mark Bederow:

    It is somewhat surprising that the defense would not seek to offer evidence consistent with Munchausen by proxy which might emotionally move a jury away from murder and towards a lesser offense.

  4. Colonel William Prescott:

    Don't one of you fire until you see the whites of their eyes.N.B. A lesser-known version of this quotation was supposedly said by Frederick the Great at Prague in 1757 By push of bayonets, no firing till you see the whites of their eyes.

  5. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia:

    They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they're being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them, i'm just not impressed by the fact that the University of Texas may have fewer. Maybe it ought to have fewer. And maybe some -- you know, when you take more, the number of blacks, really competent blacks, admitted to lesser schools, turns out to be less.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for lesser

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"lesser." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 22 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/lesser>.

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    being essentially equal to something
    • A. dicotyledonous
    • B. valetudinarian
    • C. tantamount
    • D. usurious

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