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See also: less


Alternative forms[edit]


From Old English -lēas, from lēas (devoid of), from Proto-Germanic *lausaz. (Not related to less, which derives from *laisiz, *laisizô.) Cognate to German los, -los.



  1. Lacking (something); without (something).
    • 2013 September-October, Henry Petroski, “The Evolution of Eyeglasses”, American Scientist: 
      The ability of a segment of a glass sphere to magnify whatever is placed before it was known around the year 1000, when the spherical segment was called a reading stone, essentially what today we might term a frameless magnifying glass or plain glass paperweight.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Adjectives formed using -less often form nouns by the addition of -ness (-lessness), but generally do not form nouns by the addition of other noun-forming endings. The suffix -lessness means "absence".


Derived terms[edit]