-less

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See also: less

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English -les, -leas, from Old English -lēas (-less), from lēas (devoid of, loose from, false), from Proto-Germanic *lausaz (loose). (Not related to less, which derives from *laisiz, *laisizô.) Cognate with Scots -less, West Frisian -leas, Saterland Frisian -loos, Dutch -loos (-less), Low German -los, German los, -los, Swedish -lös, Icelandic -laus. More at lease (false).

Suffix[edit]

-less

  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".

Antonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]