• -less

    Alternative forms


    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.

    Full definition of -less


    1. Lacking (something); without (something).
      • 2013, Henry Petroski, The Evolution of Eyeglasses, 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

    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

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