Mechanical advantage is a term commonly used with respect to machines. It gives us an idea of how much force needs to be applied to achieve a certain level of work from that particular machine. Mechanical advantage is defined as the ratio of force produced by a machine to the force applied to it. In other words,
Mechanical advantage = force produced / force applied
Ideally, we want the mechanical advantage to be more than 1. In such a scenario, more force is produced by the machine as compared to the force applied to it. This will result in work with less force expended.
If the mechanical advantage is less than 1, then we will have to apply more force to get the same amount of force output. One can think of this situation as analogous to spending more money but getting a product worth less.
In other words, force applied is more than force produced.
Hope this helps.