little


little
littlish /lit"l ish, lit"lish/, adj.littleness, n.
/lit"l/, adj., littler or less or lesser, littlest or least, adv., less, least, n.
adj.
1. small in size; not big; not large; tiny: a little desk in the corner of the room.
2. short in duration; not extensive; short; brief: a little while.
3. small in number: a little group of scientists.
4. small in amount or degree; not much: little hope.
5. of a certain amount; appreciable (usually prec. by a): We're having a little difficulty.
6. being such on a small scale: little farmers.
7. younger or youngest: He's my little brother.
8. not strong, forceful, or loud; weak: a little voice.
9. small in consideration, importance, position, affluence, etc.: little discomforts; tax reductions to help the little fellow.
10. mean, narrow, or illiberal: a little mind.
11. endearingly small or considered as such: Bless your little heart!
12. amusingly small or so considered: a funny little way of laughing.
13. contemptibly small, petty, mean, etc., or so considered: filthy little political tricks.
adv.
14. not at all (used before a verb): He little knows what awaits him.
15. in only a small amount or degree; not much; slightly: a little known work of art; little better than a previous effort.
16. seldom; rarely; infrequently: We see each other very little.
n.
17. a small amount, quantity, or degree: They did little to make him comfortable. If you want some ice cream, there's a little in the refrigerator.
18. a short distance: It's down the road a little.
19. a short time: Stay here for a little.
20. in little, on a small scale; in miniature: a replica in little of Independence Hall.
21. little by little, by small degrees; gradually: The water level rose little by little.
22. make little of,
a. belittle: to make little of one's troubles.
b. to understand or interpret only slightly: Scholars made little of the newly discovered text.
23. not a little, to a great extent; very much; considerably: It tired me not a little to stand for three hours.
24. think little of, to treat casually; regard as trivial: They think little of driving 50 miles to see a movie.
[bef. 900; ME, OE lytel (lyt few, small + -el dim. suffix), c. D luttel, OHG luzzil, ON litill]
Syn. 1-4. tiny, teeny, wee. LITTLE, DIMINUTIVE, MINUTE, SMALL refer to that which is not large or significant. LITTLE (the opposite of big) is very general, covering size, extent, number, quantity, amount, duration, or degree: a little boy; a little time. SMALL (the opposite of large and of great) can many times be used interchangeably with LITTLE, but is especially applied to what is limited or below the average in size: small oranges.
DIMINUTIVE denotes (usually physical) size that is much less than the average or ordinary; it may suggest delicacy: the baby's diminutive fingers; diminutive in size but autocratic in manner. MINUTE suggests that which is so tiny it is difficult to discern, or that which implies attentiveness to the smallest details: a minute quantity; a minute exam.

* * *

(as used in expressions)
Little Bighorn Battle of the
Malcolm Little
Tsan Usdi Little John

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

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