small; little; tiny: a diminutive building for a model-train layout.
Grammar. pertaining to or productive of a form denoting smallness, familiarity, affection, or triviality, as the suffix -let, in droplet from drop.
a small thing or person.
Grammar. a diminutive element or formation.
Heraldry. a charge, as an ordinary, smaller in length or breadth than the usual.
- di·min·u·tive·ly, adverb
- di·min·u·tive·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use diminutive in a sentence
With the future of their species at stake, three diminutive astronauts — Brittany, Alph, and Captain Charlie — set off in a treehouse-sized spaceship, hoping to filch every last piece of fruit they can find on PNF-404’s surface.‘Pikmin 3 Deluxe’ loses some of its original charm | Michael Thomsen | October 30, 2020 | Washington Post
Hydrogen’s diminutive size lets electrons get closer to the nodes of the lattice, augmenting their interactions with the vibrations.Room-Temperature Superconductivity Achieved for the First Time | Charlie Wood | October 14, 2020 | Quanta Magazine
In 2011, scientists found the sculptors — the diminutive males of what was then a new species of Torquigener pufferfish.Pufferfish may be carving mysterious ‘crop circles’ near Australia | Jake Buehler | October 13, 2020 | Science News
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a diminutive yet towering women’s rights champion who became the court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington.Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87 | Verne Kopytoff | September 18, 2020 | Fortune
From the diminutive Pathfinder rover back in 1997 to the twin sisters Spirit and Opportunity, and the still-roaming Curiosity—the effective older sibling of Perseverance in design and scale.Take Our Virtual Trip to Mars - Issue 89: The Dark Side | Caleb Scharf | September 2, 2020 | Nautilus
Her style, much like her diminutive nickname, is best described as “Hamptons twee”—preppy and peppy.How Taryn Toomey’s ‘The Class’ Became New York’s Latest Fitness Craze | Lizzie Crocker | January 9, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Tyrion, now on the lam for patricide by crossbow, is destined for an unknown foreign port like a diminutive Edward Snowden.Valar Morghulis: Game of Thrones’ Women Are Going to Rule the World | Scott Bixby | June 17, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Similar to the Space Shuttle in appearance, the diminutive X-37B is about a quarter the size of the old shuttles.Will The Pentagon’s Secret Space Plane Ever Return to Earth? | Kyle Mizokami | April 7, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Edmund Morgan, 97 diminutive, almost elfin in appearance, he bestrode his field like a colossus.
The diminutive history teacher turned soldier once said he learned his trade in the bush.General Giap and the Myth of American Invincibility | James A. Warren | October 12, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
A light-colored mulatto boy, in dress coat and bearing a diminutive silver tray for the reception of cards, admitted them.The Awakening and Selected Short Stories | Kate Chopin
A very diminutive man, instructing his young son, told him if he neglected his learning he would never grow tall.The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun; | Various
Its diminutive size and its unpopularity, however, prevent its general culture in this country.Tobacco; Its History, Varieties, Culture, Manufacture and Commerce | E. R. Billings.
Yet this diminutive building served the needs of the place from the days of Edward VI.The Portsmouth Road and Its Tributaries | Charles G. Harper
Its very diminutive stove stands near to its extremely small door, which is in close proximity to its unusually little window.The Floating Light of the Goodwin Sands | R.M. Ballantyne
British Dictionary definitions for diminutive
very small; tiny
denoting an affix added to a word to convey the meaning small or unimportant or to express affection, as for example the suffix -ette in French
denoting a word formed by the addition of a diminutive affix
grammar a diminutive word or affix
a tiny person or thing
- Compare (for senses 2, 3): augmentative
- diminutival (dɪˌmɪnjʊˈtaɪvəl), adjective
- diminutively, adverb
- diminutiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012