Less vs Able - What's the difference?

less | able |

In obsolete|lang=en terms the difference between less and able

is that less is (obsolete) unless while able is (obsolete) to vouch for; to guarantee .

As adjectives the difference between less and able

is that less is while able is (obsolete|passive) easy to use

As verbs the difference between less and able

is that less is (obsolete) to make less; to lessen while able is (obsolete) to make ready .

As an adverb less

is to smaller extent.

As a preposition less

is minus; not including.

As a conjunction less

is (obsolete) unless.

As a noun able is

a word that is used in place of the letter "a" during communication.




  • To smaller extent.
  • * {{quote-magazine, year=2013, month=May-June, author= Katrina G. Claw
  • , title= Rapid Evolution in Eggs and Sperm , volume=101, issue=3, magazine=(American Scientist) , passage=In plants, the ability to recognize self from nonself plays an important role in fertilization, because self-fertilization will result in less diverse offspring than fertilization with pollen from another individual.}}
  • In lower degree.
  • *
  • , title=(The Celebrity), chapter=8 , passage=I corralled the judge, and we started off across the fields, in no very mild state of fear of that gentleman's wife, whose vigilance was seldom relaxed. And thus we came by a circuitous route to Mohair, the judge occupied by his own guilty thoughts, and I by others not less disturbing.}}
  • * {{quote-news, year=2012, date=November 7, author=Matt Bai, title=Winning a Second Term, Obama Will Confront Familiar Headwinds, work=New York Times citation
  • , passage=That brief moment after the election four years ago, when many Americans thought Mr. Obama’s election would presage a new, less fractious political era, now seems very much a thing of the past. }}


    * more


  • * 1624 , John Smith, Generall Historie , in Kupperman 1988, p. 141:
  • Those Rattels are somewhat like the chape of a Rapier, but lesse [...].
  • A smaller amount (of); not as much.
  • * {{quote-magazine, year=2013, month=May-June, author= William E. Conner
  • , title= An Acoustic Arms Race , volume=101, issue=3, page=206-7, magazine=(American Scientist) , passage=Earless ghost swift moths become “invisible” to echolocating bats by forming mating clusters close (less than half a meter) above vegetation and effectively blending into the clutter of echoes that the bat receives from the leaves and stems around them.}}
  • (proscribed) A smaller number of; fewer.
  • * 1952 , Thomas M Pryor, New York Times , 7 Sep 1952:
  • This is not a happy situation as far as the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes is concerned because it means less jobs for the union's members here at home.
  • * 1999 , (George RR Martin), A Clash of Kings , Bantam 2011, p. 555:
  • No less than four standard-bearers went before them, carrying huge crimson banners emblazoned with the golden lion.
  • * 2003 , Timandra Harkness, The Guardian , 16 Dec 2003:
  • Although my hosts, G S Aviation, can teach you to fly in Wiltshire, an intensive week at their French airfield means less problems with the weather, cheap but good living, and complete removal from any distractions.

    Usage notes


    * more

    See also

    * fewer


    (English prepositions)
  • Minus; not including
  • It should then tax all of that as personal income, less the proportion of the car's annual mileage demonstrably clocked up on company business.


    * plus


  • (obsolete) To make less; to lessen.
  • (Gower)

    Derived terms

    * less is more * more or less * nevertheless


    (English Conjunctions)
  • (obsolete) unless
  • (Ben Jonson)



    Alternative forms

    * (obsolete) hable

    Etymology 1

    From (etyl), from .


  • (obsolete, passive) Easy to use.
  • * 1710 , Thomas Betterton, The life of Mr. Thomas Betterton, the late eminent tragedian. :
  • As the hands are the most habil parts of the body...
  • (obsolete, passive) Suitable; competent.
  • * 2006 , Jon L. Wakelyn, America's Founding Charters: Primary Documents of Colonial and Revolutionary Era Governance, Volume 1 , Greenwood Publishing Group, pages 212:
  • ...and for every able man servant that he or she shall carry or send armed and provided as aforesaid, ninety acres of land of like measure.
  • (obsolete, dialectal, passive) Liable to.
  • Having the necessary powers or the needed resources to accomplish a task.
  • Free from constraints preventing completion of task; permitted to; not prevented from.
  • I’ll see you as soon as I’m able .
    With that obstacle removed, I am now able to proceed with my plan.
    I’m only able to visit you when I have other work here.
    That cliff is able to be climbed.
  • (obsolete, dialectal) Having the physical strength; robust; healthy.
  • After the past week of forced marches, only half the men are fully able .
  • (obsolete) Rich; well-to-do.
  • He was born to an able family.
  • Gifted with skill, intelligence, knowledge, or competence.
  • The chairman was also an able sailor.
  • (legal) Legally]] [[qualify, qualified or competent.
  • He is able to practice law in six states.
  • (nautical) Capable of performing all the requisite duties; as an able seaman.
  • Synonyms
    * See also
    Derived terms
    * ability * -able * able-bodied * able seaman * ableism * be able, be able to * capable * disable * disabled * disablism * disability * enable

    Etymology 2

    From (etyl) ablen, from (etyl) able (adjective).


  • (obsolete) To make ready.
  • (obsolete) To make capable; to enable.
  • (obsolete) To dress.
  • (obsolete) To give power to; to reinforce; to confirm.
  • (obsolete) To vouch for; to guarantee.
  • * vi
  • None does offend, none....I’ll able ’em.
    Derived terms
    * abled

    Etymology 3


  • A word that is used in place of the letter "A" during communication.
  • Statistics




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