Diminutive definition

dĭ-mĭnyə-tĭv
Frequency:
Much smaller than ordinary or average; very small; tiny.
adjective
6
1
(grammar) A diminutive suffix, word, or name.
noun
4
2
(grammar) Of or being a suffix that indicates smallness or, by semantic extension, qualities such as youth, familiarity, affection, or contempt, as -let in booklet, -kin in lambkin, or -et in nymphet.
adjective
3
2
The definition of diminutive is small or tiny.

An example of diminutive is the size of Santa's elves.

adjective
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0
A word or name formed from another by the addition of a suffix expressing smallness in size or, sometimes, endearment or condescension, as ringlet (ring + -let), Jackie (Jack + -ie), lambkin (lamb + -kin)
noun
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0
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Such a suffix.
noun
0
0
Very small.
adjective
0
0
(grammar) Of or pertaining to, or creating a word form expressing smallness, youth, unimportance, or endearment.
adjective
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0
(grammar) A word form expressing smallness, youth, unimportance, or endearment.

Booklet, the diminutive of book, means ‘small book’.

noun
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Extremely or extraordinarily small.
adjective
0
1
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A very small person or thing.
noun
0
1
(gram.) Expressing smallness or diminution.

A diminutive suffix or name.

adjective
0
1
A very small person or thing.
noun
0
1
Serving to diminish.
adjective
0
1

Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
diminutive
Plural:
diminutives

Origin of diminutive

  • Middle English diminutif from Old French from Latin dīminūtīvus from dīminūtus past participle of dīminuere diminish

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle French diminutif (1398), from Latin diminutivum, from deminuere (“diminish”).

    From Wiktionary