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adjective \ˈsmȯl\

Simple Definition of small

  • : little in size

  • : few in number or little in amount

  • : not very important

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of small

  1. 1a :  having comparatively little size or slight dimensionsb :  lowercase

  2. 2a :  minor in influence, power, or rankb :  operating on a limited scale

  3. 3 :  lacking in strength <a small voice>

  4. 4a :  little or close to zero in an objectively measurable aspect (as quantity)b :  made up of few or little units

  5. 5a :  of little consequence :  trivialb :  humble, modest

  6. 6 :  limited in degree

  7. 7a :  mean, pettyb :  reduced to a humiliating position

smallish play \ˈsmȯ-lish\ adjective
smallness play \ˈsmȯl-nəs\ noun

Examples of small in a sentence

  1. They live in a small house.

  2. a small glass of soda

  3. She moved to a smaller town.

  4. The toy is small enough to fit in my pocket.

  5. This room is a little smaller than that one.

  6. The movie was a small success.

  7. There are still a few small details we have to deal with.

  8. It's only a small mistake.

  9. The change had only a small impact on the community.

Origin of small

Middle English smal, from Old English smæl; akin to Old High German smal small, Greek mēlon small domestic animal

First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of small

small, little, diminutive, minute, tiny, miniature mean noticeably below average in size. small and little are often interchangeable, but small applies more to relative size determined by capacity, value, number <a relatively small backyard>. little is more absolute in implication often carrying the idea of petiteness, pettiness, insignificance, or immaturity <your pathetic little smile>. diminutive implies abnormal smallness <diminutive bonsai plants>. minute implies extreme smallness <a minute amount of caffeine in the soda>. tiny is an informal equivalent to minute <tiny cracks formed in the painting>. miniature applies to an exactly proportioned reproduction on a very small scale <a dollhouse with miniature furnishings>.




Definition of small

  1. 1 :  in or into small pieces

  2. 2 :  without force or loudness <speak as small as you will — Shakespeare>

  3. 3 :  in a small manner

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of small

before 12th century




Simple Definition of small

  • : something that is sold in a small size : something that is smaller than other things of the same kind

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of small

  1. 1 :  a part smaller and especially narrower than the remainder <the small of the back>

  2. 2a plural :  small-sized productsb plural chiefly British :  smallclothes; especially :  underwear

Examples of small in a sentence

  1. These shirts are all smalls.

  2. What size ice-cream cones do you want? We'll take three larges and a small.

14th Century

First Known Use of small

14th century

SMALL Defined for Kids



adjective \ˈsmȯl\

Definition of small for Students


  1. 1 :  little in size <a small house>

  2. 2 :  few in numbers or members <a small crowd>

  3. 3 :  little in amount <a small supply>

  4. 4 :  very young <a small child>

  5. 5 :  not very much <small success>

  6. 6 :  unimportant <There are some small details to work out.>

  7. 7 :  operating on a limited scale <small car dealers>

  8. 8 :  very soft and quiet <a small voice>

  9. 9 :  not generous :  mean

  10. 10 :  made up of units of little worth <small change>

  11. 11 :  1humble 3, modest <She came from a small beginning.>

  12. 12 :  lowered in pride <After fumbling the ball, I felt pretty small.>

  13. 13 :  being letters that are not capitals

smallness noun




Definition of small for Students

  1. :  a part smaller and usually narrower than the rest <the small of the back>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up small? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


expressing little or no emotion

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