Definition of lesser in English:



  • 1[attributive] Not so great or important as the other or the rest:

    ‘he was convicted of a lesser assault charge’
    ‘they nest mostly in Alaska and to a lesser extent in Siberia’
    less important, minor, secondary, subsidiary, marginal, ancillary, auxiliary, supplementary, supplemental, peripheral
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    1. 1.1 Lower in rank or quality:
      ‘you're looking down your nose at us lesser mortals’
      • ‘Instead, it's how they deal with the stuff that would sink a far lesser talent.’
      • ‘He showed no signs of jet lag, again something lesser mortals complain of.’
      • ‘Perhaps lesser mortals in this field should wait for the hearings?’
      subordinate, minor, inferior, second-class, subservient, lowly, humble, servile, menial, mean
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    2. 1.2 Used in names of animals and plants which are smaller than similar kinds, e.g. lesser spotted woodpecker, lesser celandine.


Middle English: a double comparative, from less + -er.