small

adjective
\ˈsmȯl \

Definition of small 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : having comparatively little size or slight dimensions

b : lowercase

2a : minor in influence, power, or rank

b : operating on a limited scale

3 : lacking in strength a small voice

4a : little or close to zero in an objectively measurable aspect (such as quantity)

b : made up of few or little units

5a : of little consequence : trivial

b : humble, modest

6 : limited in degree

7a : mean, petty

b : reduced to a humiliating position

small

adverb

Definition of small (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : in or into small pieces

2 : without force or loudness speak as small as you will— William Shakespeare

3 : in a small manner

small

noun

Definition of small (Entry 3 of 3)

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

2a smalls plural : small-sized products

b smalls plural, chiefly British : smallclothes especially : underwear

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Other Words from small

Adjective

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

Choose the Right Synonym for small

Adjective

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

Examples of small in a Sentence

Adjective

They live in a small house. a small glass of soda She moved to a smaller town. The toy is small enough to fit in my pocket. This room is a little smaller than that one. The movie was a small success. There are still a few small details we have to deal with. It's only a small mistake. The change had only a small impact on the community.

Noun

These shirts are all smalls. “What size ice-cream cones do you want?” “We'll take three larges and a small.”
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Cobra isn’t the only manufacturer of small, inexpensive handguns accused of such defects. Zusha Elinson, WSJ, "Small, Cheap Guns Are Back, and Some Question Their Safety," 3 Dec. 2018 But that’s a small price to pay for Fi compatibility. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Google Fi wireless service now works with iPhones and most Android phones, but there’s a catch," 28 Nov. 2018 Pick up a handsome mug for just $11 (small) or $14 (large) or outfit the whole family in Ars T-shirts for $18 each. Nate Anderson, Ars Technica, "Cyber Monday: New Ars mugs, shirts, and hoodies—and they’re all on sale!," 26 Nov. 2018 Zeiger, then 26, was a nurse in a small surgical unit there. Jim Rendon, Marie Claire, "When Female Veterans Return Home," 29 Oct. 2018 The resulting theory, quantum mechanics, deals with particles and blips of energy in the realm of the ultra-small, divorced from our everyday experience, and all but invisible to our clumsy mammalian sensory apparatuses. Tim Folger, Discover Magazine, "How Quantum Mechanics Lets Us See, Smell and Touch," 24 Oct. 2018 The Navy truncated the program to just 3 subs, each of which cost $4.4 billion each, and turned its attention to developing the smaller, more versatile, more affordable Virginia class. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Navy’s Next Attack Submarine Will Be Big, Expensive," 22 Oct. 2018 Barnard’s star is also a very small and dim type of star known as a red dwarf. Loren Grush, The Verge, "A cold ‘super-Earth’ may live around a nearby star," 14 Nov. 2018 And that is a really important role that philanthropists big and small can ... Eric Johnson, Recode, "Why nonprofits should think more like tech companies," 14 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

The duo is starting small, performing their procedures at the outpatient surgery facility Endo-Surgical Center of Florida on North Dean Road. Naseem S. Miller, OrlandoSentinel.com, "'Dr. 90210' star accepting patients in Orlando," 13 May 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Plus sizes and curvy fits sat alongside smalls and slim fits. Khadeeja Safdar, WSJ, "New J.Crew CEO’s Strategy: Lower Prices, More Sizes," 27 Aug. 2018 Meanwhile, combine 1 teaspoon butter, 1 small chopped red bell pepper, 1/2 medium chopped onion and 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms in a large microwavable container. Atlanta Life, ajc, "7 Day Menu Planner," 30 Mar. 2018 No defense can close out perfectly against the Rockets for an entire game, but the Thunder—bigs and smalls alike—kept it reasonable and forced specialists to put the ball on the floor. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "Thunder Build Case as Western Conference Contenders One Defensive Rotation at a Time," 25 Dec. 2017 Firefighters also are conducting small, controlled burns that destroy fuel for the wildfire. Joseph Serna, latimes.com, "Winds put hundreds of homes in Montecito area in danger as Thomas fire rages," 15 Dec. 2017 The Suns can be tempted at some point to give up Jackson, an athletic small forward who would help the Cavs. Terry Pluto, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Browns camp early quarterback report -- Terry Pluto (video)," 3 Aug. 2017 Sea Pride normally sells a dozen crabs for $16 for smalls to $100 for jumbos. Jeff Barker, baltimoresun.com, "Abundant crabs not too pricey for Maryland's Fourth," 30 June 2017 In addition to music, Wallace has dabbled in movies, starring as a young Smalls in the 2009 biopic about his father, Notorious. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "Biggie Smalls’ 20-Year-Old Son Pays Tribute to His Father in Rare Appearance: ‘I Live My Life by His Words’," 22 May 2017

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

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First Known Use of small

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adverb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for small

Adjective

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

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Dictionary Entries near small

smaik

smairt

SMaj

small

small ad

smallage

small ale

Statistics for small

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for small

The first known use of small was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for small

small

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of small

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: little in size

: few in number or little in amount

: not very important

small

noun

English Language Learners Definition of small (Entry 2 of 2)

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

small

adjective
\ˈsmȯl \
smaller; smallest

Kids Definition of small

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : little in size a small house

2 : few in numbers or members a small crowd

3 : little in amount a small supply

4 : very young a small child

5 : not very much small success

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

7 : operating on a limited scale small car dealers

8 : very soft and quiet a small voice

9 : not generous : mean

10 : made up of units of little worth small change

11 : humble entry 1 sense 3, modest She came from a small beginning.

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

13 : being letters that are not capitals

Other Words from small

smallness noun

small

noun

Kids Definition of small (Entry 2 of 2)

: a part smaller and usually narrower than the rest the small of the back

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More from Merriam-Webster on small

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with small

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for small

Spanish Central: Translation of small

Nglish: Translation of small for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of small for Arabic Speakers

Comments on small

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