lesser, lessor

The words lesser, lessor sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. Why do lesser, lessor sound the same even though they are completely different words?

The answer is simple: lesser, lessor are homophones of the English language.

  1. :: adjective

    Smaller in amount, value, or importance, especially in a comparison between two things: chose the lesser evil.

  2. :: adjective

    Of a smaller size than other, similar forms: the lesser anteater.

  3. :: adverb

    Less. Used before a participle: a lesser-known writer.

  4. :: noun

    One that is lower in importance, rank, magnitude, or degree: the lesser of two evils.

  1. :: noun

    One that lets property under a lease.

Definitions from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition and Wordnik.

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About Homophones

Homophones (literally "same sound") are usually defined as words that share the same pronunciation, regardless of how they are spelled.

If they are spelled the same then they are also homographs (and homonyms); if they are spelled differently then they are also heterographs (literally "different writing").