I'm resurrecting this comment.

  1. What Syntactic Categories or terms distinguish "less" and "lesser"? "Comparative form" isn't the answer, because Less, lesser, and littler are all comparative forms of little.

  2. What's the equivalent of "more" in terms of "lesser"? "Morer" doesn't exist in 2021 English.

  • 3
    In such things as bird names, it's greater. If lesser is a comparative of little, greater is a comparative of great or large. Aug 25, 2021 at 7:56
  • i'm not sure I'd use lesser except in terms of animals or perhaps a geographical feature like a village or a hill, and Greater would be its opposite Aug 25, 2021 at 8:54
  • "Greater" can be used as the opposite of "lesser" in several contexts. For example, you could choose "the lesser of two evils" or "the greater of two evils". Children who are not "of a lesser god" would presumably be "of a greater god". And so forth. Nov 20, 2021 at 19:25

1 Answer 1


"Lesser" is a descriptive adjective. This means it gives information about the nouns. In this case, the description is "inferior":

"She plead guilty to the lesser charge of assault."

"Hockey is wildly popular in Canada, and to a lesser extent in the US."

"A lesser man would have kept that information to himself."

"Less", on the other hand, is a limiting adjective, which is a group of adjectives that "modify the nouns to which they are applied by restricting rather than describing or qualifying."

There is no "more" equivalent of "lesser", but as "lesser" means "inferior", a word with equivalent meaning is "superior".

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