This is documentation for Mathematica 8, which was
based on an earlier version of the Wolfram Language.
View current documentation (Version 11.2)


yields True if is determined to be less than .

yields True if the form a strictly increasing sequence.
  • Less does some simplification when its arguments are not numbers.
  • For exact numeric quantities, Less internally uses numerical approximations to establish numerical ordering. This process can be affected by the setting of the global variable $MaxExtraPrecision.
Compare numbers:
Represent an inequality:
Compare numbers:
Click for copyable input
Click for copyable input
Represent an inequality:
Click for copyable input
Click for copyable input
Inequalities are defined only for real numbers:
Compare rational numbers:
Approximate numbers that differ in at most their last eight binary digits are considered equal:
Compare an exact numeric expression and an approximate number:
Compare two exact numeric expressions; a numeric test may suffice to prove inequality:
Disproving this inequality requires symbolic methods:
Symbolic and numeric methods used by Less are insufficient to disprove this inequality:
Use RootReduce to decide the sign of algebraic numbers:
Numeric methods used by Less do not use sufficient precision to prove this inequality:
RootReduce proves the inequality using exact methods:
Increasing $MaxExtraPrecision may also prove the inequality:
Symbolic inequalities remain unevaluated, since x may not be a real number:
Use Refine to reevaluate the inequality assuming that x is real:
A symbolic inequality:
Use Reduce to find an explicit description of the solution set:
Use FindInstance to find a solution instance:
Use Minimize to optimize over the inequality-defined region:
Use Refine to simplify under the inequality-defined assumptions:
The negation of two-argument Less is GreaterEqual:
The negation of three-argument Less does not simplify automatically:
Use LogicalExpand to express it in terms of two-argument GreaterEqual:
This is not equivalent to three-argument GreaterEqual:
When Less cannot decide inequality between numeric expressions it returns unchanged:
FullSimplify uses exact symbolic transformations to disprove the inequality:
Negative[x] is equivalent to :
Use Reduce to solve inequalities:
Use FindInstance to find solution instances:
Use RegionPlot and RegionPlot3D to visualize solution sets of inequalities:
Inequality assumptions:
Use Minimize and Maximize to solve optimization problems constrained by inequalities:
Use NMinimize and NMaximize to numerically solve constrained optimization problems:
Integrate a function over the solution set of inequalities:
Use Median, Quantile, and Quartiles to the ^(th) greatest number(s):
Inequalities for machine-precision approximate numbers can be subtle:
The strict inequality is based on extra digits:
Arbitrary-precision approximate numbers do not have this problem:
Thanks to automatic precision tracking, Less knows to look only at the first 10 digits:
In this case, inequality between machine numbers gives the expected result:
The extra digits in this case are ignored by Less:
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