diminutive


1di·min·u·tive

noun \də-ˈmi-nyə-tiv\

: a word or suffix that indicates that something is small

: an informal form of a name

Full Definition of DIMINUTIVE

1
:  a diminutive word, affix, or name
2
:  a diminutive individual

Examples of DIMINUTIVE

  1. the diminutives -ette and kitchenette
  2. <dik-diks, the diminutives of the antelope family>

Origin of DIMINUTIVE

Middle English diminutif, from Medieval Latin diminutivum, alteration of Late Latin deminutivum, from neuter of deminutivus, adjective, from deminutus, past participle of deminuere
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms

ablaut, allusion, anacoluthon, diacritic, gerund, idiom, infinitive, metaphor, semiotics, simile

2diminutive

adjective

: very small

linguistics : indicating small size

Full Definition of DIMINUTIVE

1
:  indicating small size and sometimes the state or quality of being familiarly known, lovable, pitiable, or contemptible —used of affixes (as -ette, -kin, -ling) and of words formed with them (as kitchenette, manikin, duckling), of clipped forms (as Jim), and of altered forms (as Peggy) — compare augmentative
2
:  exceptionally or notably small :  tiny <a diminutive performer>
di·min·u·tive·ly adverb
di·min·u·tive·ness noun

Examples of DIMINUTIVE

  1. a radio with a diminutive set of speakers
  2. the diminutive suffixes -ette and -ling

First Known Use of DIMINUTIVE

14th century

Related to DIMINUTIVE

Synonyms
bantam, small, dinky, dwarfish, fine, half-pint, Lilliputian, little, pint-size (or pint-sized), pocket, pocket-size (also pocket-sized), puny, pygmy, shrimpy, slight, smallish, subnormal, toylike, undersized (also undersize)
Antonyms
big, biggish, considerable, goodly, grand, great, handsome, husky, king-size (or king-sized), large, largish, outsize (also outsized), overscale (or overscaled), oversize (or oversized), sizable (or sizeable), substantial, tidy, whacking, whopping
See Synonym Discussion at small

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms

ablaut, allusion, anacoluthon, diacritic, gerund, idiom, infinitive, metaphor, semiotics, simile

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