Free & Quick Proofreading from Grammarly!

small Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the slender part of the back
  2. noun a garment size for a small person
  3. adjective limited or below average in number or quantity or magnitude or extent
    • a little dining room
    • a little house
    • a small car
    • a little (or small) group
  4. adjective satellite limited in size or scope
    pocket-size; pocket-sized; modest; minor; small-scale.
    • a small business
    • a newspaper with a modest circulation
    • small-scale plans
    • a pocket-size country
  5. adjective satellite (of children and animals) young, immature
    • what a big little boy you are
    • small children
  6. adjective satellite slight or limited; especially in degree or intensity or scope
    • a series of death struggles with small time in between
  7. adjective satellite low or inferior in station or quality
    modest; humble; low; lowly.
    • a humble cottage
    • a lowly parish priest
    • a modest man of the people
    • small beginnings
  8. adjective satellite lowercase
    little; minuscule.
    • little a
    • small a
    • e.e.cummings's poetry is written all in minuscule letters
  9. adjective satellite (of a voice) faint
    • a little voice
    • a still small voice
  10. adjective satellite have fine or very small constituent particles
    • a small misty rain
  11. adjective satellite not large but sufficient in size or amount
    • a modest salary
    • modest inflation
    • helped in my own small way
  12. adjective satellite made to seem smaller or less (especially in worth)
    belittled; diminished.
    • her comments made me feel small
  13. adverb on a small scale
    • think small

Small adjective
OE. small, AS. sm$l; akin to D. smal narrow, OS. & OHG. smal small, G. schmal narrow, Dan. & Sw. smal, Goth. smals small, Icel. smali smal cattle, sheep, or goats; cf. Gr. a sheep or goat.
comparative Smaller ; superlative Smallest
  1. Having little size, compared with other things of the same kind; little in quantity or degree; diminutive; not large or extended in dimension; not great; not much; inconsiderable; as, a small man; a small river.
    To compare Great things with small. Milton.
  2. Being of slight consequence; feeble in influence or importance; unimportant; trivial; insignificant; as, a small fault; a small business.
  3. Envincing little worth or ability; not large-minded; -- sometimes, in reproach, paltry; mean.
    A true delineation of the smallest man is capable of interesting the reatest man. Carlyle.
  4. Not prolonged in duration; not extended in time; short; as, after a small space. Shak.
  5. Weak; slender; fine; gentle; soft; not loud. "A still, small voice." 1 Kings xix. 12.
Small adverb
  1. In or to small extent, quantity, or degree; little; slightly. Obs. "I wept but small." Chaucer. "It small avails my mood." Shak.
  2. Not loudly; faintly; timidly. Obs. or Humorous
    You may speak as small as you will. Shak.
Small noun
  1. The small or slender part of a thing; as, the small of the leg or of the back.
  2. pl. Smallclothes. Colloq. Hood. Dickens.
  3. pl. Same as Little go. See under Little, a.
Small transitive verb
  1. To make little or less. Obs.

Webster 1913