small

small, little, diminutive, petite, wee, tiny, teeny, weeny, minute, microscopic, miniature can all mean conspicuously below the average in magnitude, especially physical magnitude. Small (opposed to large) and little (opposed to big, great) are often used without distinction.
But small, more frequently than little, applies to things whose magnitude is determined by number, size, capacity, value, or significance
{

a small attendance

}
{

a small boy

}
{

a small box

}
{

a small house

}
{

small change

}
{

a small income

}
{

a small matter

}
{

fear of life, memory of hard times, dread of small slights in the community . . . combined to keep the household temperature low— Buck

}
Small is also preferred when words like quantity, amount, size, and capacity are qualified
{

give me a small quantity of flour

}
{

they have only a small amount of money

}
{

the small size of the rooms was disappointing

}
Small also applies to intangible and immeasurable things which, however, may be said to be limited in some pertinent or significant way
{

he has a small mind

}
{

her sadness at the small prospect of seeing him again— Archibald Marshall

}
{

"I never . . . thought you could be so small about anything," said Selena, who was just angry enough to use the word smallSalinger

}
Little is usually more absolute in its implications than small, which often connotes less magnitude than is ordinary or is to be expected or is desirable; it may be preferred to small, therefore, when there is the intent to convey a hint of petiteness, of pettiness, or of insignificance in size, amount, quantity, or extent
{

take little interest in politics

}
{

a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds— Emerson

}
{

the bull Bill . . . had picked out was a fierce, waspy little animal— Gipson

}
{

he enjoyed the little vices and luxuries —coffee, fresh water, women— T. E. Lawrence

}
{

this little man, whose intellectual resources were hardly more than a combination of prejudice and syntax— Sheean

}
{

how unsubstantial then appear our hopes and dreams, our little ambitions, our paltry joys!— Benson

}
Little is also appropriate in the sense of a small amount, a small quantity, or a small extent; thus, one asks for a little sugar or a small quantity of sugar; one sees that the garden is little or of small extent
{

spading up a little culture along with the history— Schulberg

}
Little is also appropriate when the context carries a note of tenderness, pathos, or affection
{

our little house

}
{

the air turned cold ... so that the littlest kids cried from cold as much as fright— Grau

}
{

her pathetic little smile

}
{

sleep, my little one— Tennyson

}
Diminutive not only carries a stronger implication of divergence from a normal or usual size or scale than small or little, but it often carries the meaning of extremely or even abnormally small or little
{

the bedrooms are small but the parlor is diminutive

}
{

in so hot a climate peach trees will produce only diminutive fruits in very small quantities

}
{

the horses are so diminutive that they might be, with propriety, said to be Lilliputian— Cowper

}
{

a diminutive financial wizard, who looked like a Kewpie doll— J. D. Hart

}
Petite is the usual term to describe a trim, well-shaped woman or girl of diminutive size
{

a bit incongruous that such a petite woman should write such huge tomes— Fisher

}
Wee is found especially in dialectal use in place of small or little
{

a wee lad

}
{

a wee drop of whisky

}
or in more general use as an equivalent of diminutive
{

a little wee face, with a little yellow beard— Shak.

}
{

the one to the bachelor uncle . . . was sweetly girlish, and just a wee bit arch— Gibbons

}
Tiny goes further than diminutive or wee in suggesting extreme littleness or a smallness out of proportion to most things of its kind or in comparison with all other things
{

they were prominent eyes yellowed with tiny red veins— Avram Davidson

}
{

the behavior of the invisible, intangible, inconceivably tiny electrons and atoms— Darrow

}
{

tiny, Swiss-made replicas . . . each ... about the size of a small, oblong wristwatch— Terry Southerny

}
Teeny and weeny, found chiefly in childish or playful use, occur also in paired or reduplicated forms (as teeny-weeny and teeny-tiny)
{

one day this teeny-tiny woman put on her teeny-tiny bonnet and went out of her teeny- tiny house to take a teeny-tiny walk—Fairy Tale

}
{

he gave a weeny, weeny yawn— Wiggin

}
Minute means extremely small on an absolute scale, usually a microscopic or near-microscopic scale
{

a minute animalcule

}
{

minute grains of sand

}
{

ants that marched their minute columns over the floor— Hervey

}
{

the tremendous forces imprisoned in minute particles of matter— Ingey

}
Scent applies to what is so minute that it is literally observable only under a microscope
{

microscopic organisms

}
or is of a comparable minuteness in its class
{

no matter how microscopic his wage, he forced himself to save a dollar or two a year— Irving Stone

}
{

the lady of the dreadnaught class with a leash on the microscopic Chihuahua— Cross

}
Miniature applies to what is complete in itself but is built, drawn, or made on a very small scale
{

in circus parades, Tom Thumb and his ménage rode together in a miniature red coach, drawn by two small ponies— Green Peyton

}
{

it was one of the miniature Italian cities ... all compact and complete, on the top of a mountain— L. P. Smith

}
{

we may thus picture an atom as a miniature solar system— Eddington

}
Analogous words: *petty, puny, paltry, trifling, trivial
Antonyms: large —
Contrasted words: big, great (see LARGE): vast, *huge, immense, enormous

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Small — can refer to the following:* Something very gracious * Something of low size. * Minuscule, or lower case, is the small form (case) of a letter * SMALL, an ALGOL like programming language * A term to describe smaller aircraft for purposes of air… …   Wikipedia

  • Small — (sm[add]l), a. [Compar. {Smaller}; superl. {Smallest}.] [OE. small, AS. sm[ae]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. mh^lon a sheep …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Small — ist der Familienname von: Aaron Small (* 1971), US amerikanischer Baseballspieler Albion Woodbury Small (1854–1926), US amerikanischer Soziologe Brendon Small (* 1976), US amerikanischer Schauspieler und Musiker Chris Small (* 1973), schottischer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Small-C — es una especificación para un subconjunto del lenguaje de programación C, conveniente para microcomputadores limitados en recursos y para sistema embebidos. También se refiere a la implementación de ese subconjunto de instrucciones. Originalmente …   Wikipedia Español

  • small — [smôl] adj. [ME smal, narrow, slender < OE smæl, akin to Ger schmal, narrow < IE base * (s)mēlo , smaller animal: see MAL ] 1. little in size, esp. when compared with others of the same kind; not large or big; limited in size 2. a) little… …   English World dictionary

  • small — [smɔːl ǁ smɒːl] adjective 1. not large in size or amount: • Boeing doesn t make a small, 100 seat plane. • The recent fare increases are small. • For a small fee, we can sell your shares for you. 2. unimportant or easy to deal with: • The company …   Financial and business terms

  • small — O.E. smæl slender, narrow, small, from P.Gmc. *smalaz (Cf. O.S., Dan., Swed., M.Du., Du., O.H.G. smal, O.Fris. smel, Ger. schmal narrow, Goth. smalista smallest, O.N. smali small cattle, sheep ), perhaps from a PIE root * (s)melo smaller animal …   Etymology dictionary

  • small — ► ADJECTIVE 1) of less than normal or usual size. 2) not great in amount, number, strength, or power. 3) not fully grown or developed; young. 4) insignificant; unimportant. 5) (of a business or its owner) operating on a modest scale. ► NOUN… …   English terms dictionary

  • small — 〈[smɔ:l] Abk.: S〉 klein (als Kleidergröße) [engl.] * * * small [smɔ:l ] <indekl. Adj.> [engl. small = klein]: klein (als Kleidergröße; Abk.: S). * * * Small   [smɔːl],    1) Adam, südafrikanischer Schriftsteller, * Wellington ( …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Small — Small, adv. 1. In or to small extent, quantity, or degree; little; slightly. [Obs.] I wept but small. Chaucer. It small avails my mood. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Not loudly; faintly; timidly. [Obs. or Humorous] [1913 Webster] You may speak as small …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.