Tracy Jennings, Works at Noodle and here to help!
It depends on the context, but in pre-algebra, "<" means that the value to the right is "more than" the value to the left. (If you know music, think of the sign for a crescendo - it's bigger / louder at the end.)
Because algebraic equations are read from the left to the right, this means you usually say the first number is "less than" the second.
Here are a few examples:
0 < 1
"Zero is less than one." (or, "One is greater than zero.")
10 < 1000
"Ten is less than one thousand."
You can also have some fun with it:
the cute factor of baby hedgehogs < the cute factor of baby elephants
"Baby hedgehogs are less cute than baby elephants."
Lorde < Taylor Swift
Literally, "Lorde is smaller than Taylor Swift." Or, figuratively, "Lorde is less big right now than Taylor Swift."