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Pretty straight forward; I am looking for a word that describes up to, but not including a certain number, if such a word exists.

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Please explain more about the context that calls for this. – tchrist May 24 '12 at 21:46
How about when explaining a syntax of a command in a programming language that exhibits this behavior when slicing an indexed array of numbers? :-P – James M. Lay May 23 at 20:13
up vote 10 down vote accepted

In most numerical contexts we use "less than". That's two words, not one, but it may work for you.

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It's redundant, but this term is sometimes used to diminish the chance of ambiguity or misinterpretation: "less than, not inclusive." (That's four words, while the O.P. requested less than two – but it still might prove helpful.) – J.R. May 24 '12 at 21:13
I think 'less than' is sufficient. – Liz May 24 '12 at 21:41
Or "strictly less than". – John Bartholomew May 24 '12 at 21:43
@Liz, for the record, I do, too... – J.R. May 25 '12 at 10:13

For the numbers coming before but not including, I think you could say:

preceding X.

preceding: Existing or coming before another or others in time, place, rank

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"Under", meaning "less than", is only one word. Under X.

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Below is an obvious one-word answer (I have to write more 'cos it's below the minimum length!).

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