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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
small /smɔl/USA pronunciation
adj. and adv., -er, -est, n. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
- of limited size;
little:a small box.
- not large when compared with others of the same kind:A small elephant is still pretty big.
- Printing[before a noun] (of a written letter) in lowercase.
- not great in amount, extent, etc.:a small salary.
- carrying on some activity on a limited scale[before a noun]a small business.
- of minor importance:We have a small problem.
- mean-spirited; petty:a small, miserly man.
- (of sound or the voice) having little volume:"What about me, mother?'' he asked in a small voice.
- very young:When he was just a small boy his mother died.
- in a small manner:writes so small he can put a lot of words on one page.
- a small or narrow part, as of the back[countable]a pain in the small of my back.
- the small, [plural; used with a plural verb] people without wealth or influence:Democracy benefits the great and the small.
- [uncountable] a size of garments for persons of less than average dimensions, weight, etc.
- [countable] a garment in this size.
small•ness, n. [uncountable]fighting such smallness of mind.
- Idiomsfeel small, [no object] to be ashamed:She made him feel small by screaming at him in public.
(smôl), adj., -er, -est, adv., -er, -est, n.
- of limited size;
of comparatively restricted dimensions;
little:a small box.
- slender, thin, or narrow:a small waist.
- not large as compared with others of the same kind:a small elephant.
- (of letters) lower-case (def. 1).
- not great in amount, degree, extent, duration, value, etc.:a small salary.
- not great numerically:a small army.
- of low numerical value; denoted by a low number.
- having but little land, capital, power, influence, etc., or carrying on business or some activity on a limited scale:a small enterprise.
- of minor importance, moment, weight, or consequence:a small problem.
- humble, modest, or unpretentious:small circumstances.
- characterized by or indicative of littleness of mind or character; mean-spirited;
petty:a small, miserly man.
- of little strength or force:a small effort.
- (of sound or the voice) gentle; with little volume.
- very young:when I was a small boy.
- feel small, to be ashamed or mortified:Her unselfishness made me feel small.
- in a small manner:They talked big but lived small.
- into small pieces:Slice the cake small.
- in low tones; softly.
- something that is small:Do you prefer the small or the large?
- a small or narrow part, as of the back.
- those who are small:Democracy benefits the great and the small.
- smalls, small goods or products.
smalls, [Brit. Informal.]the responsions at Oxford University.
Miningsmalls, [Mining.]coal, ore, gangue, etc., in fine particles.
- household linen, as napkins, pillowcases, etc.
Etymology:bef. 900; Middle English smale (adjective, adjectival, noun, nominal, and adverb, adverbial), Old English smæl;
1 . tiny. See little. 2 . slight. 1, 3, 5 . Smaller, less indicate a diminution, or not so large a size or quantity in some respect. Smaller, as applied to concrete objects, is used with reference to size:smaller apples.Less is used of material in bulk, with reference to amount, and in cases where attributes such as value and degree are in question:A nickel is less than a dime(in value). A sergeant is less than a lieutenant (in rank). As an abstraction, amount may be either smaller or less, though smaller is usually used when the idea of size is suggested:a smaller opportunity.Less is used when the idea of quantity is present:less courage. 9 . trifling, petty, unimportant, minor, secondary, nugatory, inconsequential, paltry, insignificant. 11 . small-minded, narrow-minded, mean, selfish, narrow. 12 . feeble.
1 . large, big.
cognate with Dutch smal, German schmal
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
small /smɔːl/ adj
- comparatively little; limited in size, number, importance, etc
- of little importance or on a minor scale: a small business
- lacking in moral or mental breadth or depth: a small mind
- modest or humble: small beginnings
- of low or inferior status, esp socially
- (of a child or animal) young; not mature
- unimportant, trivial: a small matter
- of, relating to, or designating the ordinary modern minuscule letter used in printing and cursive writing
- lacking great strength or force: a small effort
- in fine particles: small gravel
- into small pieces: you have to cut it small
- in a small or soft manner
Etymology: Old English smæl; related to Old High German smal, Old Norse smali small cattleˈsmallish adj ˈsmallness n
- the small ⇒ an object, person, or group considered to be small: do you want the small or the large?
- a small slender part, esp of the back
- (plural) informal chiefly Brit items of personal laundry, such as underwear
'smallish' also found in these entries: