more or less


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more or less

1. Mostly or basically. This model of car has everything I'm looking for, more or less.
2. Approximately or nearly. That dinner was pretty inexpensive—$30, more or less.
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more or less

somewhat; approximately; a phrase used to express vagueness or uncertainty. Henry: I think this one is what I want, more or less. Clerk: A very wise choice, sir. I spent more or less a half hour waiting for my flight to depart.
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more or less

1. Approximately, as in The truck will hold nine yards of dirt, more or less. This usage was first recorded in 1589.
2. Basically, essentially, as in We more or less agree on the substance of the letter. This usage was first recorded about 1225.
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ˌmore or ˈless


1 almost: I’ve more or less finished reading the book.She’s finished, more or less.
2 approximately: It cost €200, more or less.
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more or less

Approximately. This term has been around since the thirteenth century and still serves as an inexact answer. It also has been subject to numerous word plays, such as “More or less, but rather less than more” (Phoebe’s comment on her betrothal to Wilfred, W. S. Gilbert, The Yeomen of the Guard); “A little more than kin and less than kind” (Shakespeare, Hamlet, 1.2); and “Less is more” (the simpler the better; Robert Browning, “Andrea del Sarto”).
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