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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
small /smɔl/USA pronunciation   adj. and adv., -er, -est, n. 

  1. of limited size;
    little:a small box.
  2. not large when compared with others of the same kind:A small elephant is still pretty big.
  3. Printing[before a noun] (of a written letter) in lowercase.
  4. not great in amount, extent, etc.:a small salary.
  5. carrying on some activity on a limited scale[before a noun]a small business.
  6. of minor importance:We have a small problem.
  7. mean-spirited; petty:a small, miserly man.
  8. (of sound or the voice) having little volume:"What about me, mother?'' he asked in a small voice.
  9. very young:When he was just a small boy his mother died.

  1. in a small manner:writes so small he can put a lot of words on one page.

  1. a small or narrow part, as of the back[countable]a pain in the small of my back.
  2. 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.
  1. Idiomsfeel small, [no object] to be ashamed:She made him feel small by screaming at him in public.

small•ish, adj. 
small•ness, n. [uncountable]fighting such smallness of mind.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
small  (smôl), 
adj., -er, -est, adv., -er, -est, n. 

  1. of limited size;
    of comparatively restricted dimensions;
    not big;
    little:a small box.
  2. slender, thin, or narrow:a small waist.
  3. not large as compared with others of the same kind:a small elephant.
  4. (of letters) lower-case (def. 1).
  5. not great in amount, degree, extent, duration, value, etc.:a small salary.
  6. not great numerically:a small army.
  7. of low numerical value; denoted by a low number.
  8. having but little land, capital, power, influence, etc., or carrying on business or some activity on a limited scale:a small enterprise.
  9. of minor importance, moment, weight, or consequence:a small problem.
  10. humble, modest, or unpretentious:small circumstances.
  11. characterized by or indicative of littleness of mind or character; mean-spirited;
    petty:a small, miserly man.
  12. of little strength or force:a small effort.
  13. (of sound or the voice) gentle; with little volume.
  14. very young:when I was a small boy.
  15. diluted;
  16. feel small, to be ashamed or mortified:Her unselfishness made me feel small.

  1. in a small manner:They talked big but lived small.
  2. into small pieces:Slice the cake small.
  3. in low tones; softly.

  1. something that is small:Do you prefer the small or the large?
  2. a small or narrow part, as of the back.
  3. those who are small:Democracy benefits the great and the small.
  4. smalls, small goods or products.
  5. smalls, [Brit.]
      • underclothes.
      • household linen, as napkins, pillowcases, etc.
  6. smalls, [Brit. Informal.]the responsions at Oxford University.
  7. Miningsmalls, [Mining.]coal, ore, gangue, etc., in fine particles.
Etymology:bef. 900; Middle English smale (adjective, adjectival, noun, nominal, and adverb, adverbial), Old English smæl;
cognate with Dutch smal, German schmal
smallness, n. 
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.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

small /smɔːl/ adj
  1. comparatively little; limited in size, number, importance, etc
  2. of little importance or on a minor scale: a small business
  3. lacking in moral or mental breadth or depth: a small mind
  4. modest or humble: small beginnings
  5. of low or inferior status, esp socially
  6. (of a child or animal) young; not mature
  7. unimportant, trivial: a small matter
  8. of, relating to, or designating the ordinary modern minuscule letter used in printing and cursive writing
  9. lacking great strength or force: a small effort
  10. in fine particles: small gravel
  1. into small pieces: you have to cut it small
  2. in a small or soft manner
  1. the smallan object, person, or group considered to be small: do you want the small or the large?
  2. a small slender part, esp of the back
  3. (plural) informal chiefly Brit items of personal laundry, such as underwear
Etymology: Old English smæl; related to Old High German smal, Old Norse smali small cattle

ˈsmallish adj ˈsmallness n

'smallish' also found in these entries:

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