Dictionary.com

small time

Save This Word!

noun (in vaudeville)
a circuit of minor theaters giving three or more shows daily.
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of small time

An Americanism dating back to 1920–25

Other definitions for small time (2 of 2)

small-time
[ smawl-tahym ]
/ ˈsmɔlˈtaɪm /

adjective
of modest or insignificant size, importance, or influence: a small-time politician.

Origin of small-time

First recorded in 1910–15

OTHER WORDS FROM small-time

small-timer, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use small time in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for small time

small-time

adjective
informal insignificant; minora small-time criminal

Derived forms of small-time

small-timer, 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

Other Idioms and Phrases with small time

small time

A modest or minor level of achievement, as in Her success took her out of the small time to prime-time television. This expression was originally used in vaudeville for second-rate theaters and productions. [Early 1900s] Also see big time, def. 2.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
FEEDBACK