- The definition of little is small in size, quantity or importance.
An example of little used as an adjective is the phrase a "little cat" which means a cat below the normal size.
- Little is defined as only slightly or not much.
An example of little used as an adverb is the phrase "working little" which means not getting a decent amount of work.
A little girl with a little cat.
adjectivelittler or less or lesser, littlest or least
- small in size; not big, large, or great
- small in amount, number, or degree; not much
- short in duration or distance; brief; not long
- small in importance or power: the rights of the little man
- small in force, intensity, etc.; weak
- trivial; trifling
- lacking in breadth of vision; narrow-minded; illiberal: a little mind
- young: said of children or animals
- younger: her little brother
Origin of littleMiddle English littel ; from Old English lytel (akin to German dialect, dialectal lützel) ; from base of lyt, small (; from Indo-European base an unverified form leud-, to stoop from source Welsh lludded, fatigue), influenced, influence by Old Norse litill, small (akin to Gothic leitils) ; from Indo-European base an unverified form lei-, to decline, be lean from source less
- in a small degree; to a slight extent; only slightly; not much
- not in the least: he little suspects the plot
- small amount, degree, etc.: often used with a and having adverbial force: a little crazy
- not much: little will be done about it
- a short time or distance
little by little
make little of
not a little
adjectivelit·tler or less also less·er , lit·tlest or least
- a. Small in size: a little dining room.b. Small in quantity or extent: a little money; a little work on the side. See Synonyms at small.
- Short in extent or duration; brief: There is little time left.
- Unimportant; trivial: a little matter.
- Narrow; petty: mean little comments; a little mind consumed with trivia.
- Having scant power or influence; of minor status: just a little clerk in the records office.
- a. Being at an early stage of growth; young: a little child.b. Younger or youngest. Used especially of a sibling: My little brother is leaving for college next week.
adverbless less or lesser, least least
- Not much; scarcely: works long hours, sleeping little.
- Not in the least; not at all: They little expected such a generous gift.
- A small quantity or amount: Give me a little.
- Something much less than all: I know little of their history.
- A short distance or time: a little down the road; waited a little.
Origin of littleMiddle English, from Old English l&ymacron;tel.
- A surname.