1

little

adjective lit·tle \ ˈli-tᵊl \

Definition of little

littler play \ˈli-tᵊl-ər, ˈlit-lər\ or less play \ˈles\ or lesser play \ˈle-sər\; littlest play \ˈli-tᵊl-əst, ˈlit-ləst\ or least play \ˈlēst\
1 :not big: such as
a :small in size or extent :tiny
  • has little feet
b :young
  • was too little to remember
c of a plant or animal :small in comparison with related forms used in vernacular names
d :having few members or inhabitants
  • a little group
  • little towns
e :small in condition, distinction, or scope
  • big business trampling on the little fellow
f :narrow, mean
  • the pettiness of little minds
g :pleasingly small
  • a cute little thing
h used as an intensive
  • why, you little devil!
2 :not much: such as
a :existing only in a small amount or to a slight degree
  • has little money
b :short in duration :brief
  • There is little time left.
c :existing to an appreciable though not extensive degree or amount used with a
  • had a little money in the bank
3 :small in importance or interest :trivial
  • a few little problems to be dealt with

littleness

play \ˈli-tᵊl-nəs\ noun

Examples of little in a Sentence

  1. I have very little money, so I can't lend you any.

  2. I have less money than I did before.

  3. I got very little sleep last night.

  4. There's little hope of a rescue now.

  5. You have little choice but to pay attention.

  6. The new version bears little resemblance to the original.

  7. These programs have very little chance of succeeding.

  8. These trinkets have little or no value.

  9. We're having a little party this weekend.

  10. a little group of people

Recent Examples of little from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'little.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of little

Middle English littel, from Old English lȳtel; akin to Old High German luzzil little

Synonym Discussion of little

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

2

little

adverb

Definition of little

less play \ˈles\; least play \ˈlēst\
1 a :in only a small quantity or degree :slightly
  • facts that were little known at the time
b :not at all
  • cared little for their neighbors

Examples of little in a Sentence

  1. She works very little and sleeps even less.

  2. Please speak as little as possible.

  3. We had little more than we needed.

  4. His art is little known in this country.

Recent Examples of little from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'little.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of little


3

little

noun

Definition of little

1 :a small amount, quantity, or degree; also :practically nothing
  • little has changed
2 a :a short time
b :a short distance
a little
:somewhat, rather
  • found the play a little dull
in little
:on a small scale; especially :in miniature

Examples of little in a Sentence

  1. there's just a little of the pie left

Recent Examples of little from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'little.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of little


LITTLE Defined for English Language Learners

little

adjective

Definition of little for English Language Learners

  • : small in size

  • : not tall

  • : small in amount


little

adverb

Definition of little for English Language Learners

  • : in a very small amount or degree

  • : hardly at all : not very much

  • : not very often


LITTLE Defined for Kids

1

little

adjective lit·tle \ ˈli-tᵊl \

Definition of little for Students

littler \ˈlit-lər\ or less \ˈləs\; littlest \ˈlit-ləst\ or least \ˈlēst\
1 :small in size
  • a little house
2 :small in quantity
  • They had little food to eat.
3 :1young 1
  • little children
4 :short in duration or extent
  • We had a little chat.
5 :small in importance
  • It's a little problem.
6 :1narrow 3

2

little

adverb

Definition of little for Students

less \ˈles\; least \ˈlēst\
:in a very small quantity or degree
  • The history is little known.
little by little
:by small steps or amounts :gradually

3

little

noun

Definition of little for Students

:a small amount or quantity She knows very little.

Medical Dictionary

little

adjective lit·tle \ ˈlit-ᵊl \

medical Definition of little

littler play \ˈlit-ᵊl-ər, ˈlit-lər\ or less play \ˈles\ or lesser play \ˈles-ər\; littlest play \ˈlit-ᵊl-əst, ˈlit-ləst\ or least play \ˈlēst\
:not big: as
a :small in size or extent
  • has little feet
b of a plant or animal :small in comparison with related forms used in vernacular names


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