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Little Definition and Meaning

By Fiza Rafique & Maham Liaqat — Published on April 19, 2024
Little means small in size, amount, or degree; not much or enough. e.g., She had a little money saved for emergencies.

Little Definitions

Smaller than average in physical size.
He lives in a little house by the lake.
Not significant or important.
It's a little problem that can be fixed quickly.
Minimal; barely noticeable.
There's a little difference between the two pictures.
Limited in extent or reach.
There was a little damage from the storm.
Of small importance; trivial.
They argued over a little misunderstanding.
Small in size
A little dining room.
Small in quantity or extent
A little money.
A little work on the side.
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.
Being at an early stage of growth; young
A little child.
Younger or youngest. Used especially of a sibling
My little brother is leaving for college next week.
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.
Small in size.
This is a little table.
Insignificant, trivial.
It's of little importance.
(offensive) Used to belittle a person.
Listen up, you little shit.
Very young.
Did he tell you any embarrassing stories about when she was little?
That's the biggest little boy I've ever seen.
(of a sibling) Younger.
This is my little sister.
(often capitalized) Used with the name of a place, especially of a country or its capital, to denote a neighborhood whose residents or storekeepers are from that place.
(derogatory) To imply that the inhabitants of the place have an insular attitude and are hostile to those they perceive as foreign.
Having few members.
Little herd
Operating on a small scale.
Little Steel (smaller steel companies, as contrasted with Big Steel)
Little Science (science performed by individuals or small teams, as contrasted with Big Science)
Short in duration; brief.
I feel better after my little sleep.
Small in extent of views or sympathies; narrow; shallow; contracted; mean; illiberal; ungenerous.
Not much.
This is a little known fact.
She spoke little and listened less.
We slept very little last night.
Not at all.
I was speaking ill of Fred; little did I know that he was right behind me, listening in.
Not much, only a little: only a small amount (of).
There is (very) little water left.
We had very little to do.
Not much; not a large amount.
Little is known about his early life.
A small amount.
Can I try a little of that sauce?
Little did he do to make me comfortable.
If you want some cake, there's a little in the refrigerator
Many littles make a mickle. (Scottish proverb)
A child; particularly an infant.
A newly initiated member of a sorority, who is mentored by a big.
The participant in ageplay who acts out the younger role.
(countable) One who has mentally age regressed to a childlike state.
Small in size or extent; not big; diminutive; - opposed to big or large; as, a little body; a little animal; a little piece of ground; a little hill; a little distance; a little child.
He sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.
Short in duration; brief; as, a little sleep.
Best him enough: after a little time,I'll beat him too.
Small in quantity or amount; not much; as, a little food; a little air or water.
Conceited of their little wisdoms, and doting upon their own fancies.
Small in dignity, power, or importance; not great; insignificant; contemptible.
When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes?
Small in force or efficiency; not strong; weak; slight; inconsiderable; as, little attention or exertion;little effort; little care or diligence.
By sad experiment I knowHow little weight my words with thee can find.
Small in extent of views or sympathies; narrow; shallow; contracted; mean; illiberal; ungenerous.
The long-necked geese of the world that are ever hissing dispraise,Because their natures are little.
The men, and the women, and the little ones.
That which is little; a small quantity, amount, space, or the like.
Much was in little writ.
There are many expressions, which carrying with them no clear ideas, are like to remove but little of my ignorance.
A small degree or scale; miniature.
A little, to or in a small degree; to a limited extent; somewhat; for a short time. " Stay a little."
The painter flattered her a little.
In a small quantity or degree; not much; slightly; somewhat; - often with a preceding it.
A small amount or duration;
He accepted the little they gave him
Limited or below average in number or quantity or magnitude or extent;
A little dining room
A little house
A small car
A little (or small) group
A small voice
(quantifier used with mass nouns) small in quantity or degree; not much or almost none or (with `a') at least some;
Little rain fell in May
Gave it little thought
Little hope remained
Little time is left
We still have little money
A little hope remained
A little time is left
Of short duration or distance;
A brief stay in the country
In a little while
It's a little way away
Not fully grown;
What a big little boy you are
Small children
(informal terms) small and of little importance;
A fiddling sum of money
A footling gesture
Our worries are lilliputian compared with those of countries that are at war
A little (or small) matter
Mickey Mouse regulations
A dispute over niggling details
Limited to petty enterprises
Piffling efforts
Giving a police officer a free meal may be against the law, but it seems to be a picayune infraction
(of a voice) faint;
A little voice
A still small voice
Younger brother or sister;
Little brother
Little a
Small a
E.e.cummings's poetry is written all in minuscule letters
Small in a way that arouses feelings (of tenderness or its opposite depending on the context);
A nice little job
Bless your little heart
My dear little mother
A sweet little deal
I'm tired of your petty little schemes
Filthy little tricks
What a nasty little situation
Not much;
He talked little about his family
A small quantity or degree.
There's only a little sugar left in the jar.
Lasting for a short time.
They went on a little vacation over the weekend.
Used to denote younger or youngest of siblings.
She's the little sister in the family.
Not holding much value or impact.
They made a little mistake in the report.
Very small or tiny in physical stature.
The little kitten curled up in the corner.

Little Snonyms


Very small in size or amount.
The tiny insect crawled across the leaf.


Limited in size or amount.
She bought a small gift for her friend.


Small in degree; not much.
There was a slight chill in the air.


Lesser in importance, seriousness, or significance.
It's a minor issue that we can resolve quickly.


Not important or noteworthy.
The changes had an insignificant effect on the outcome.


Of little value or importance.
They spent the afternoon discussing trivial matters.


Extremely small.
They noticed a minute crack in the window.


Small; little; tiny.
The diminutive figure in the distance turned out to be a child.


(Especially of a woman) small and slender.
She found the perfect dress in the petite section.


So small or unimportant as to be not worth considering.
The difference in their ages is negligible.

Little Idioms & Phrases

A little goes a long way

A small amount is sufficient; a little can have a big impact.
With spices, a little goes a long way.

Every little helps

Even the smallest things can provide assistance.
I only contributed a small amount, but every little helps.

The little end of the stick

To get the worse part of a deal or situation.
I felt I got the little end of the stick in that negotiation.

Little wonder

Not surprising.
It's little wonder he's tired, given how hard he's been working.

Little by little

Gradually; bit by bit.
She saved money little by little for her trip.

Not a little

Quite a lot; significantly.
The news surprised not a little of her fans.

The little things

Small details or moments that are important or cherished.
It's the little things in life that make it beautiful.

A little bird told me

A way of saying you were told something by someone but you're not going to say who.
A little bird told me it's your birthday.

Little did I know

Used to express that one was unaware of the true situation.
Little did I know, they had planned a surprise party for me.

In little

In a small amount; briefly.
The story was told in little, leaving out many details.

Little or nothing

Hardly anything; almost nothing.
He knew little or nothing about the subject.

To know little of

To not be familiar or well-acquainted with.
She knows little of her neighbors.

To take a little

To require a short amount of time.
Just take a little to review the document.

With little ado

Without much fuss or difficulty.
They settled the dispute with little ado.

To make little of

To belittle or make something seem less important.
He made little of my concerns, dismissing them outright.

A little learning is a dangerous thing

A small amount of knowledge can make people think they are more expert than they really are.
He tried fixing the car with his little knowledge, proving a little learning is a dangerous thing.

Little by little, the bird builds its nest

Progress is made by slow and steady work.
She completed her thesis little by little, the bird builds its nest.

No little

A significant amount.
The project required no little effort to complete.

To think little of

To not have a high opinion of.
She thought little of the new policy.

Little of much

A small part of a larger whole.
We only saw little of much during our brief visit.

Little Example Sentences

He gave her a little smile as she walked by.
The garden needs a little attention before the guests arrive.
There's only a little time left before the store closes.
The little dog chased after the ball with excitement.
They received a little support from the community.
She added a little salt to the recipe for flavor.
They had little understanding of the consequences.
She felt a little anxious before the presentation.
He was a little surprised by the sudden change in plans.
A little effort now can save a lot of trouble later.
They shared a little laugh over the old memories.
The movie was a little too long for my liking.
The book offers a little insight into the history of the region.
The room was decorated with little lights for the party.
He showed a little interest in the discussion.

Common Curiosities

What is a stressed syllable in little?

The stressed syllable in little is the first one, lit-.

How is little used in a sentence?

Little is often used to describe a small amount or degree of something. e.g., She had a little time to spare before her meeting.

How do we divide little into syllables?

Little is divided into syllables as lit-tle.

Why is it called little?

The word "little" comes from the Old English "lytel," meaning small in size, amount, or degree, emphasizing something lesser or smaller than average.

What is the root word of little?

The root word of little is the Old English "lytel," indicating small size or amount.

How many syllables are in little?

Little has two syllables.

What is the pronunciation of little?

Little is pronounced as /ˈlɪt.əl/.

What is another term for little?

Another term for little is "small."

What is the verb form of little?

Little is primarily used as an adjective and does not have a verb form. Its usage is to describe nouns.

What part of speech is little?

Little is primarily an adjective but can also function as an adverb in certain contexts.

What is the opposite of little?

The opposite of little is "big," "large," or "much."

Is little an adverb?

Yes, little can be used as an adverb in some contexts, modifying verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs to indicate a small degree.

Is little a negative or positive word?

Little is neutral; its positive or negative connotation depends on the context in which it is used.

Is the word little imperative?

Little is not an imperative as it is not a verb; it cannot express a command.

Is the word little a Gerund?

No, little is not a gerund. Gerunds are nouns formed from verbs by adding "-ing."

What is the plural form of little?

Little remains unchanged as it is not a noun but an adjective; it can describe both singular and plural nouns.

Is little a countable noun?

Little is not a noun; it's an adjective or adverb, so the question of being countable does not apply.

Is the word “little” a Direct object or an Indirect object?

Little cannot be a direct or indirect object as it is not a noun; it's an adjective or adverb.

Which determiner is used with little?

Determiners like "a," "the," and possessive pronouns can be used with "little" when it is part of a noun phrase.

Which vowel is used before little?

The vowel or consonant used before "little" depends on the word it modifies; there's no specific rule.

What is the singular form of little?

Little does not have a singular or plural form as it is an adjective; it describes the quantity or size of nouns.

Is little a vowel or consonant?

The word "little" begins with a consonant.

Is the little term a metaphor?

Little can be used metaphorically to indicate a small amount or degree of something.

Is little a collective noun?

No, little is not a collective noun.

Which preposition is used with little?

Prepositions such as "of," "with," and "by" can be used with "little," depending on the context.

Which conjunction is used with little?

Conjunctions like "and," "but," or "or" can be used with phrases containing "little," depending on the sentence structure.

Is little a noun or adjective?

Little is primarily used as an adjective but can also function as an adverb.

Is little an abstract noun?

No, little is not an abstract noun; it is an adjective or adverb depending on its use.

Which article is used with little?

The articles "a," "an," or "the" can be used with "little" when it precedes a noun, depending on whether the noun is specific or general.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Maham Liaqat

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