little: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (lit'l), [key]
— adj., adv., n. lit•tler less less•er, lit•tlest least, less, least,
  1. small in size; not big; not large; tiny: a little desk in the corner of the room.
  2. short in duration; not extensive; short; brief: a little while.
  3. small in number: a little group of scientists.
  4. small in amount or degree; not much: little hope.
  5. of a certain amount; appreciable (usually prec. by a): We're having a little difficulty.
  6. being such on a small scale: little farmers.
  7. younger or youngest: He's my little brother.
  8. not strong, forceful, or loud; weak: a little voice.
  9. small in consideration, importance, position, affluence, etc.: little discomforts; tax reductions to help the little fellow.
  10. mean, narrow, or illiberal: a little mind.
  11. endearingly small or considered as such: Bless your little heart!
  12. amusingly small or so considered: a funny little way of laughing.
  13. contemptibly small, petty, mean, etc., or so considered: filthy little political tricks.
  1. not at all (used before a verb): He little knows what awaits him.
  2. in only a small amount or degree; not much; slightly: a little known work of art; little better than a previous effort.
  3. seldom; rarely; infrequently: We see each other very little.
  1. a small amount, quantity, or degree: They did little to make him comfortable. If you want some ice cream, there's a little in the refrigerator.
  2. a short distance: It's down the road a little.
  3. a short time: Stay here for a little.
  4. on a small scale; in miniature: a replica in little of Independence Hall.
  5. by small degrees; gradually: The water level rose little by little.
  6. to make little of one's troubles.
    1. belittle:to make little of one's troubles.
    2. to understand or interpret only slightly:Scholars made little of the newly discovered text.
  7. to a great extent; very much; considerably: It tired me not a little to stand for three hours.
  8. to treat casually; regard as trivial: They think little of driving 50 miles to see a movie.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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