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adj. small·er, small·est
a. Being below average in size: a small car.
b. Being below average in quantity or extent: a small donation; a small project.
2. Limited in importance or significance; trivial: a small matter.
3. Having limited position, influence, or status; minor: "A crowd of small writers had vainly attempted to rival Addison" (Thomas Macaulay).
4. Unpretentious; modest: made a small living; helped the cause in my own small way.
5. Not fully grown; very young: a small child.
6. Narrow in outlook; petty: a small mind.
7. Having been belittled; humiliated: Their comments made me feel small.
8. Diluted; weak. Used of alcoholic beverages.
9. Lacking force or volume: a small voice.
10. Lowercase: Type the password in small letters.
1. In small pieces: Cut the meat up small.
2. Without loudness or forcefulness; softly.
3. In a small manner.
1. A part that is smaller or narrower than the rest: the small of the back.
2. smalls
a. Small things considered as a group.
b. Chiefly British Small items of clothing.

[Middle English smal, from Old English smæl.]

small′ish adj.
small′ness n.
Synonyms: small, diminutive, little, miniature, minuscule, minute2, petite, tiny, wee1
These adjectives mean being notably below the average in size or magnitude: a small house; diminutive in stature; little hands; a miniature camera; a minuscule amount of rain; minute errors; a petite figure; tiny feet; a wee puppy.
Antonym: large


  1. As tiny as the glint of a silver dime in a mountain of trash —Elizabeth Spencer
  2. Big as a broom closet —Anon

    This modern colloquialism usually applies to a small living or working space. A common variation often used with “No bigger than” is “As big as a shoe box.”

  3. Big as your thumbnail —Julian Gloag
  4. He [a very short man] with his chin up, gazing about as though searching for his missing inches —Helen Hudson
  5. Small and undistinguishable, like far-off mountains turned into clouds —William Shakespeare
  6. Small as a breadcrumb —Anon
  7. Small as a fly in the fair enormity of a night sky —Elizabeth Spencer
  8. Small as a garden pea —Lawrence Durrell
  9. Small as a snail —Babette Deutsch

    The comparison describes the subject of a poem entitled The Mermaid.

  10. Small as grain of rice —Anon
  11. Small as sesame seed —Anon
  12. Small as snowflake —Anon
  13. Tight as a gnat’s cock —English expression used by engineers to describe an extremely small space
  14. (Paper ripped into pieces,) tiny as confetti —Ann Beattie
  15. (Jewelled chips) tiny as grass seed —Jayne Anne Phillips
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.smallness - the property of having a relatively small size
size - the physical magnitude of something (how big it is); "a wolf is about the size of a large dog"
diminutiveness, minuteness, petiteness, tininess, weeness - the property of being very small in size; "hence the minuteness of detail in the painting"
slightness, delicacy - smallness of stature
grain - the smallest possible unit of anything; "there was a grain of truth in what he said"; "he does not have a grain of sense"
runtiness, stuntedness, puniness - smallness of stature
dwarfishness - smallness of stature
bigness, largeness - the property of having a relatively great size
2.smallness - the property of being a relatively small amount; "he was attracted by the smallness of the taxes"
amount - the relative magnitude of something with reference to a criterion; "an adequate amount of food for four people"
3.smallness - the property of having relatively little strength or vigor; "the smallness of her voice"
weakness - the property of lacking physical or mental strength; liability to failure under pressure or stress or strain; "his weakness increased as he became older"; "the weakness of the span was overlooked until it collapsed"
4.smallness - lack of generosity in trifling matters




[ˈsmɔːlnɪs] N
1. [of object, animal, room, hand, foot] → pequeñez f, lo chico (LAm); [of income, sum, contribution] → lo pequeño; (in height) [of person] → lo bajo, lo chaparro (LAm); [of problem] → insignificancia f; [of waist] → estrechez f; [of group, population] → lo poco numeroso; [of stock, supply] → lo reducido; [of print, writing] → pequeñez f, lo pequeño, lo menudo
2. (= small-mindedness) → estrechez f de miras


nKleinheit f; (of sum, present)Bescheidenheit f; (= pettiness)Kleinlichkeit f


[ˈsmɔːlnɪs] n (gen) → piccolezza; (of person) → bassa statura; (of income, sum) → scarsità
References in classic literature ?
The smallness of the company made it necessary for the two principal actors to take several parts apiece, and they certainly deserved some credit for the hard work they did in learning three or four different parts, whisking in and out of various costumes, and managing the stage besides.
Nothing deterred by the smallness of his audience, which, in truth, consisted only of the discontented scout, he raised his voice, commencing and ending the sacred song without accident or interruption of any kind.
For, viewed in this light, the wonderful comparative smallness of his brain proper is more than compensated by the wonderful comparative magnitude of his spinal cord.
But it is proved by the smallness of the school, which I have heard you speak of, as under the patronage of your sister and Mrs.
He hoped they would all excuse the smallness of the party, and could assure them it should never happen so again.
Grumble about the smallness of the place; complain of your health; wish you had never come to Aldborough, and never made acquaintances with the Bygraves; and when you have well worried Mrs.
It was an old-fashioned place, moreover, in the moral attribute that the partners in the House were proud of its smallness, proud of its darkness, proud of its ugliness, proud of its incommodiousness.
The dramatic instinct to which the life of towns is necessarily unfavourable, is kept alive in the country by the smallness of the stage and the fewness of the actors.
Because of the smallness of the luminous disk, it was difficult at first to make out the appearance of things: they saw a corner of a branch.
When I attended the King in order to deliver the presents, after I had excused the smallness of them, as being, though unworthy his acceptance, the largest that our profession of poverty, and distance from our country, allowed us to make, he examined them one by one with a dissatisfied look, and told me that however he might be pleased with our good attentions, he thought our present such as could not be offered to a king without affronting him; and made me a sign with his hand to withdraw, and take back what I had brought.
So at a signal from him, the men rose up and smartly bent their bows for practice, while the knight was greatly astonished at the smallness of the their targets.
And what more need be adduced to explain nutrition, and the production of the different humors of the body, beyond saying, that the force with which the blood, in being rarefied, passes from the heart towards the extremities of the arteries, causes certain of its parts to remain in the members at which they arrive, and there occupy the place of some others expelled by them; and that according to the situation, shape, or smallness of the pores with which they meet, some rather than others flow into certain parts, in the same way that some sieves are observed to act, which, by being variously perforated, serve to separate different species of grain?