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LITTLE

Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does little mean? 

LITTLE (noun)
  The noun LITTLE has 1 sense:

1. a small amount or duration

  Familiarity information: LITTLE used as a noun is very rare.


LITTLE (adjective)
  The adjective LITTLE has 8 senses:

1. limited or below average in number or quantity or magnitude or extent
2. (quantifier used with mass nouns) small in quantity or degree; not much or almost none or (with 'a') at least some
3. of short duration or distance
4. (of children and animals) young, immature
5. (informal) small and of little importance
6. (of a voice) faint
7. lowercase
8. small in a way that arouses feelings (of tenderness or its opposite depending on the context)

  Familiarity information: LITTLE used as an adjective is common.


LITTLE (adverb)
  The adverb LITTLE has 1 sense:

1. not much

  Familiarity information: LITTLE used as an adverb is very rare.


 Dictionary entry details 


LITTLE (noun)


Sense 1little [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A small amount or duration

Classified under:

Nouns denoting quantities and units of measure

Context example:

he accepted the little they gave him

Hypernyms ("little" is a kind of...):

small indefinite amount; small indefinite quantity (an indefinite quantity that is below average size or magnitude)


LITTLE (adjective)


Sense 1little [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Limited or below average in number or quantity or magnitude or extent

Synonyms:

small; little

Context examples:

a little dining room / a little house / a small car / a little (or small) group

Similar:

miniscule; minuscule (very small)

olive-sized (about the size of an olive)

pocket-size; pocket-sized; pocketable (small enough to be carried in a garment pocket)

puny; runty; shrimpy ((used especially of persons) of inferior size)

slender; slim (small in quantity)

littler; smaller (small or little relative to something else)

smallish (rather small)

small-scale (created or drawn on a small scale)

undersize; undersized (smaller than normal for its kind)

miniature (being on a very small scale)

micro (extremely small in scale or scope or capability)

lesser (smaller in size or amount or value)

bantam; diminutive; flyspeck; lilliputian; midget; petite; tiny (very small)

bittie; bitty; itsy-bitsy; itty-bitty; teensy; teensy-weensy; teentsy; teeny; teeny-weeny; wee; weensy; weeny ((used informally) very small)

dinky (small and insignificant)

dwarfish (atypically small)

elfin; elflike (small and delicate)

gnomish (used of small deformed creatures)

half-size (half the usual or regular size)

infinitesimal; microscopic; minute (infinitely or immeasurably small)

Attribute:

size (the physical magnitude of something (how big it is))

Antonym:

big (above average in size or number or quantity or magnitude or extent)


Sense 2little [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

(quantifier used with mass nouns) small in quantity or degree; not much or almost none or (with 'a') at least some

Context examples:

little rain fell in May / gave it little thought / little hope remained / little time is left / we still have little money / a little hope remained

Similar:

slight (almost no or (with 'a') at least some; very little)

small (slight or limited; especially in degree or intensity or scope)

Also:

less ((comparative of 'little' usually used with mass nouns) a quantifier meaning not as great in amount or degree)

Antonym:

much ((quantifier used with mass nouns) great in quantity or degree or extent)


Sense 3little [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Of short duration or distance

Synonyms:

brief; little

Context examples:

a brief stay in the country / in a little while / it's a little way away

Similar:

short (primarily temporal sense; indicating or being or seeming to be limited in duration)


Sense 4little [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

(of children and animals) young, immature

Synonyms:

little; small

Context examples:

what a big little boy you are / small children

Similar:

immature; young ((used of living things especially persons) in an early period of life or development or growth)


Sense 5little [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

(informal) small and of little importance

Synonyms:

trivial; piffling; piddling; picayune; niggling; footling; fiddling; petty; lilliputian; little

Context examples:

a fiddling sum of money / a footling gesture / our worries are lilliputian compared with those of countries that are at war / a little (or small) matter / a dispute over niggling details / limited to petty enterprises / piffling efforts / giving a police officer a free meal may be against the law, but it seems to be a picayune infraction

Similar:

unimportant (not important)

Domain usage:

colloquialism (a colloquial expression; characteristic of spoken or written communication that seeks to imitate informal speech)


Sense 6little [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

(of a voice) faint

Synonyms:

little; small

Context examples:

a little voice / a still small voice

Similar:

soft ((of sound) relatively low in volume)


Sense 7little [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Lowercase

Synonyms:

minuscule; little; small

Context examples:

little a / small a / e.e.cummings's poetry is written all in minuscule letters

Similar:

lowercase (relating to small (not capitalized) letters that were kept in the lower half of a compositor's type case)


Sense 8little [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Small in a way that arouses feelings (of tenderness or its opposite depending on the context)

Context examples:

a nice little job / bless your little heart / my dear little mother / a sweet little deal / I'm tired of your petty little schemes / filthy little tricks / what a nasty little situation

Similar:

emotional (of more than usual emotion)


LITTLE (adverb)


Sense 1little [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Not much

Context example:

he talked little about his family


 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
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