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
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Lower in terms of rank or quality.
      ‘the lesser aristocracy’
      ‘you're looking down your nose at us lesser mortals’
      • ‘He showed no signs of jet lag, again something lesser mortals complain of.’
      • ‘Instead, it's how they deal with the stuff that would sink a far lesser talent.’
      • ‘Perhaps lesser mortals in this field should wait for the hearings?’
    2. 1.2Used in names of animals and plants that are smaller than similar kinds, e.g., lesser spotted woodpecker, lesser celandine.


On the punctuation of lesser in compound adjectives, see well


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