AskDefine | Define little

Dictionary Definition

little adj
1 limited or below average in number or quantity or magnitude or extent; "a little dining room"; "a little house"; "a small car"; "a little (or small) group"; "a small voice" [syn: small] [ant: large, large]
2 (quantifier used with mass nouns) small in quantity or degree; not much or almost none or (with `a') at least some; "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"; "a little time is left" [syn: little(a)] [ant: much(a)]
3 of short duration or distance; "a brief stay in the country"; "in a little while"; "it's a little way away" [syn: brief]
4 not fully grown; "what a big little boy you are"; "small children" [syn: small]
5 (informal terms) small and of little importance; "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"; "Mickey Mouse regulations"; "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" [syn: fiddling, footling, lilliputian, Mickey Mouse, niggling, piddling, piffling, petty, picayune, trivial]
6 (of a voice) faint; "a little voice"; "a still small voice" [syn: small]
7 younger brother or sister; "little brother" [syn: little(a), younger] [ant: big(a)]
8 lowercase; "little a"; "small a"; "e.e.cummings's poetry is written all in minuscule letters" [syn: minuscule, small]
9 small in a way that arouses feelings (of tenderness or its opposite depending on the context); "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" n : a small amount or duration; "he accepted the little they gave him" adv : not much; "he talked little about his family"

User Contributed Dictionary



lȳtel, from West Germanic *lutila-. Cognate with Dutch luttel, dialectal German lützel.


  • /ˈlɪtl̩/, 1=/"lItl=/
  • Rhymes with: -ɪtəl


  1. small
    This is a little table.
    It's of little importance.
  2. In the context of "of a sibling": younger
    This is my little sister.



  • Aragonese: chicote
  • Chinese: (xiǎo)
  • Crimean Tatar: kiçik, kiçkene
  • Czech: malý
  • Danish: lille
  • Dutch: klein
  • Finnish: pieni
  • French: petit
  • German: klein wenig
  • Greek: μικρός (mikrós), λίγος
  • Hungarian: kicsi, kis
  • Italian: piccolo
  • Kurdish:
    Sorani: بچووک, بچکۆله‌
  • Sanskrit: अल्प
  • Spanish: pequeño
  • Swedish: liten
(of a sibling) younger
  • Czech: malý
  • Danish: lille
  • Dutch: jongere, klein
  • Finnish: pikku-
  • French: cadet
  • German: klein
  • Greek: μικρός (mikrós)
  • Hungarian: kis, younger brother: öcs, younger sister: húg
  • Italian: piccolo
  • Kurdish:
    Sorani: بچووک, بچکۆله‌
  • Swedish: yngre, lille-


  1. Not much.
    This is a little known fact.
    She spoke little and listened less.



not much
  • Armenian: որոշ բան (vorosh ban)
  • Czech: málo
  • Dutch: een beetje
  • Finnish: vähän
  • French: peu de
  • German: wenig
  • Greek: λίγο
  • Gujarati: થોડું
  • Hebrew: קצת, מעט
  • Hungarian: keveset, kevéssé
  • Ido: poka
  • Indonesian: sedikit
  • Italian: poco
  • Kurdish:
    Sorani: که‌م
  • Old English: lyt
  • Romanian: puţin
  • Spanish: poco


( less, least)
  1. A small amount
    There is little water left.


small amount
  • Finnish: hieman, vähän
  • German: wenig
  • Kurdish:
  • Sorani: نه‌ختێ, که‌م

Usage notes

  • Little is used with uncountable nouns. Few is used with plural countable nouns.

Related terms

Extensive Definition

Little is a surname and may refer to:
little in German: Little
little in French: Little

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Lilliputian, a bit, a breath, a little, abject, abominable, ace, arrant, atom, atrocious, authoritarian, baby, back-burner, bantam, barely, base, beggarly, bigot, bigoted, bit, borne, bowshot, brief, brief span, by a hair, by an ace, casual, cheap, cheesy, close quarters, close range, closed, collateral, compact, compendious, concise, constricted, contemptible, crack, cramped, creedbound, crumb, crummy, cursory, curt, curtal, curtate, dab, deaf, deaf to reason, debased, decurtate, deficient, degraded, depraved, depthless, despicable, diminutive, dinky, dirty, disgusting, dispensable, dole, dollop, dot, dram, dribble, driblet, dwarf, earreach, earshot, elfin, ever so little, execrable, exiguous, exiguously, faintly, fanatical, farthing, feebly, few, flagrant, fleck, flyspeck, footling, fortuitous, foul, fragment, fulsome, gobbet, grain, granule, grave, groat, gross, gunshot, hair, hair space, hairbreadth, hairsbreadth, half-pint, handful, hardly, hardly any, hardly ever, heinous, hidebound, illiberal, immaterial, imperfect, imperfectly, in a nutshell, in miniature, in the small, inadequate, inappreciable, inappreciably, inch, incidental, incompetent, inconsequential, inconsequentially, inconsiderable, ineffectual, inessential, inferior, infinitesimal, infrequently, insignificant, insignificantly, instant, instantaneous, insufficient, insular, iota, irrelevant, itsy-bitsy, itty-bitty, jot, just a bit, knee-high, light, lightly, limited, little bit, little ways, little while, little-minded, low, low-down, lumpen, maladroit, mangy, meager, meagerly, mean, mean-minded, mean-spirited, measly, mediocre, microscopic, midget, mingy, mini, miniature, minim, minimally, minimum, minor, minuscule, minute, minutely, minutiae, miserable, mite, modicum, molecule, moment, monkey, monstrous, mote, narrow, narrow-hearted, narrow-minded, narrow-souled, narrow-spirited, nearsighted, nefarious, negligible, negligibly, niggard, niggardly, no, no great shakes, no time, nonessential, not any, not comparable, not enough, not hardly, not in it, not much, not vital, nutshell, obnoxious, odious, one-horse, only just, ounce, out of it, pair of winks, paltry, parochial, particle, pebble, petit, petite, petty, picayune, picayunish, piddling, pinch, pindling, pint-sized, pistol shot, pittance, point, poky, poor, potty, provincial, puny, purblind, pygmy, rank, rarely, reptilian, scabby, scant, scantily, scanty, scarcely, scrap, scrubby, scruffy, scruple, scummy, scurvy, secondary, seldom, self-centered, selfish, set, shabby, shallow, shoddy, shoestring, short, short and sweet, short distance, short piece, short spell, short time, short way, shortsighted, skimpy, skin-deep, slight, slightly, small, small space, small-beer, small-minded, smallish, smally, smidgen, smidgin, smitch, span, sparse, speck, spitting distance, spoonful, spot, spurt, squalid, step, stingy, straitlaced, stuffy, subordinate, subsidiary, succinct, summary, superficial, synoptic, tant soit peu, taste, technical, teensy-weensy, teeny, teeny-weeny, thimbleful, tiny, tiny bit, tittle, toy, transient, trifling, trifling amount, triflingly, trivia, trivial, two shakes, two-by-four, uncatholic, uncharitable, unchivalrous, undersized, unessential, unfrequently, ungenerous, unimaginative, unimportant, unimpressive, unliberal, unmentionable, unnoteworthy, unoften, unskillful, vile, weakly, wee, whit, wretched, young, youthful
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