Less than - Definition with Examples

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Less Than

Less than is one of the terms used to show the relationship between two values. It states that one value is lesser than the other. The sign for less than is < and with this metric, we can compare numbers, weights, heights, and values. 

For example, there are 4 marbles in one Bowl A, and 7 marbles in Bowl B. On comparing the two, it is clear that Bowl A has fewer marbles than Bowl B. 


less than example



less than example 1


Likewise, weights can be compared as well. For example: 

Ray buys 4 kg of potatoes and 2 kg onions and puts them in two bags separately. He hands over the lighter bag to his son. Which one does he hold himself?                            

Well, for that, it is important to find out which bag is lighter. There are two bags, the one with the potatoes weighing 4 kgs, and the other having onions weighing 2 kgs. So, the bag of onions weighs less and Ray hands it over to his son, and himself carries the bag with potatoes.

less than example 2


John has 6 packets of chocolates. Rita has 2 packs of chocolates and Suma has 3 packets of chocolates. Does John have more chocolates than that of Rita's and Suma's combined?

The total number of packets with Rita and Suma = 2 + 3 = 5 packets

And, John has 6 packets of chocolates.

less than example 3

Therefore, Rita and Suma together have fewer chocolates than John.

To sum up, comparison plays a significant role in our lives. Without comparison, it is difficult to show the equality or inequality between things that we see around us. 

  Fun Facts

  • British mathematician, Thomas Harriot, first used the sign for less than (<)  in 1631 in his book “Artis Analyticae Praxis ad Aequationes Algebraicas Resolvendas.”


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