Meaning of LESS in English

see: little Etymology: Middle English, partly from Old English lǣs, adverb & noun; partly from lǣssa, adjective; akin to Old Frisian lēs ~ Date: before 12th century constituting a more limited number or amount , of lower rank, degree, or importance , 3. of reduced size, extent, or degree, more limited in quantity , Usage: The traditional view is that ~ applies to matters of degree, value, or amount and modifies collective nouns, mass nouns, or nouns denoting an abstract whole while fewer applies to matters of number and modifies plural nouns. Less has been used to modify plural nouns since the days of King Alfred and the usage, though roundly decried, appears to be increasing. Less is more likely than fewer to modify plural nouns when distances, sums of money, and a few fixed phrases are involved and as likely as fewer to modify periods of time . see: little Date: before 12th century to a ~er extent or degree, III. noun (plural ~) Date: before 12th century a smaller portion or quantity, something of ~ importance, IV. preposition Date: 15th century diminished by ; minus

Merriam Webster. Explanatory English dictionary Merriam Webster.      Толковый словарь английского языка Мерриам-Уэбстер.