Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of little
Meaning of little by Wiktionary Dictionary

little


    Etymology

    Middle English litel, from Old English lȳtel, from Proto-Germanic *lītilaz ( West Germanic *lutilaz ), from Proto-Indo-European *lewd- ( “to bend, bent, small” ). Cognate with Dutch luttel, German lütt and lützel, West Frisian lyts, Low German lütt, Old High German luzzil, Middle High German lützel, Old English lūtan; and perhaps to Old English lytig ( “deceitful, lot deceit” ), Gothic ���������� ( liuts, “deceitful” ), ������������ ( lutjan, “to deceive” ); compare also Icelandic lítill ( “little” ), Swedish liten, Danish liden, lille, Gothic �������������� ( leitils ), which appear to have a different root vowel. More at lout .

    Pronunciation

    • IPA: /ˈlɪtl̩/, X-SAMPA: /"lItl=/
    • ( US ) IPA: /ˈlɪtl̩/, [ˈlɪɾl̩]
    • Rhymes: -ɪtəl
    • Hyphenation: lit‧tle

    Adjective

    little ( comparative less, lesser or littler, superlative least or littlest )

    1. Small in size .
      This is a little table .
    2. Insignificant, trivial .
      It's of little importance .
    3. Very young .
      Did he tell you any embarrassing stories about when she was little?
      That's the biggest little boy I've ever seen .
    4. ( of a sibling ) Younger .
      This is my little sister .
    5. Used with the name of place, especially of a country, to denote a neighborhood whose residents or storekeepers are from that place.

    Usage notes

    Some authorities regard both littler and littlest as non-standard. The OED says of the word little: "the adjective has no recognized mode of comparison. The difficulty is commonly evaded by resort to a synonym ( as smaller, smallest ); some writers have ventured to employ the unrecognized forms littler, littlest, which are otherwise confined to dialect or imitations of childish or illiterate speech."

    Antonyms

    Adverb

    little ( comparative less or lesser, superlative least )

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

    Antonyms

    Determiner

    little ( comparative less, superlative least )

    1. Not much, only a little: only a small amount ( of ) .
      There is little water left .
      We had very little to do .

    Usage notes

    Antonyms

    Related terms

    Statistics



Explanation of little by Wordnet Dictionary

little


    Adverb
    1. not much

    2. he talked little about his family
    Adjective
    1. small in a way that arouses feelings ( of tenderness or its opposite depending on the context )

    2. 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
    3. small and of little importance

    4. a little ( or small ) matter
    5. limited or below average in number or quantity or magnitude or extent

    6. a little dining room
      a little house
      a little ( or small ) group
    7. ( of a voice ) faint

    8. a little voice
    9. lowercase

    10. little a
    11. small in quantity or degree

    12. little rain fell in May
      gave it little thought
      little time is left
      we still have little money
      a little hope remained
    13. ( of children and animals ) young, immature

    14. what a big little boy you are
    15. low in stature

    16. a little man
    Noun
    1. a small amount or duration

    2. he accepted the little they gave him