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When reading a book, I saw this sentence:

A zone contains attribute data for names in a domain, less any subdomains administered by lower-level authorities.

I don't understand the part "less any subdomains". What does it mean? Which grammar can I look up to understand it?

Could anyone help me please?

Thank you a lot.

closed as off-topic by Dan Bron, Glorfindel, choster, Chenmunka, Skooba Mar 28 '17 at 12:31

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    You don't need to look up any grammar, fortunately, you just need to look up the verb less in a dictionary and look for meanings which make the sentence meaningful and applicable in context. This is the first step you should always take when you find a usage which baffles you. It won't always work, but it will work very often: words have a surprising variety meanings. – Dan Bron Mar 25 '17 at 11:52
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    In this case it means "minus", or "subtracting out" or "removing". – Hot Licks Mar 25 '17 at 11:54
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Thank Dan Bron and Hot Lick for your answers. I appreciate your help. I think the preposition meaning of less seems to be correct for this sentence. I was really surprised that less can be a preposition!

The sentence can be understood as

A zone contains attribute data for names in a domain, minus any subdomains administered by lower-level authorities.

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