adjective, small·er, small·est.
adverb, small·er, small·est.
- household linen, as napkins, pillowcases, etc.
- small advertisement,
- small arm,
- small arms,
- small beer,
- small business administration
Origin of small
Examples from the Web for small
Something like fluoride, which is too small for normal filters, yanks away that feeling of agency.
And yes, someone has already called Spencer a “Small Fry,” har har.Freaking Out About Age Gaps in Gay Relationships Is Homophobic|Samantha Allen|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
It was seen by a small delegation of star-struck prelates and dignitaries who later described the film as “moving.”Pope Francis Has the Pleasure of Meeting Angelina Jolie for a Few Seconds|Barbie Latza Nadeau|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
The judges who handle arraignments at criminal court in all five boroughs have a small fraction of their usual caseloads.
Inside the guild, men in caps and long gowns sit in twos, weaving together in small rooms.The Photographer Who Gave Up Manhattan for Marrakech|Liza Foreman|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST
As I have already said, we had made four oars, but our boat was so small that only two were necessary.The Coral Island|R. M. Ballantyne
But now the boiler proved to be too small to furnish steam steadily in sufficient quantity to sustain the higher speed.A History of the Growth of the Steam-Engine|Robert H. Thurston
Its food consists of sand-worms, crustaceans, various insects and great quantities of small molluscs.British Sea Birds|Charles Dixon
Eleanor Gray—the world is small, the life of it persistent; generations repeat themselves, and each is young but once.The Militants|Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews
The cross-head is a small piece of aluminum bronze, running on round guides that also serve as cylinder braces.Langley Memoir on Mechanical Flight, Parts I and II|S. P. (Samuel Pierpont) Langley and Charles M. (Charles Matthews) Manly
Word Origin for small
Old English smæl "thin, slender, narrow; fine," from Proto-Germanic *smal- "small animal; small" (cf. Old Saxon, Danish, Swedish, Middle Dutch, Dutch, Old High German smal, Old Frisian smel, German schmal "narrow, slender," Gothic smalista "smallest," Old Norse smali "small cattle, sheep"), perhaps from a PIE root *(s)melo- "smaller animal" (cf. Greek melon, Old Irish mil "a small animal;" Old Church Slavonic malu "bad"). Original sense of "narrow" now almost obsolete, except in reference to waistline and intestines.
My sister ... is as white as a lilly, and as small as a wand. [Shakespeare, "Two Gentlemen of Verona," 1591]
Sense of "not large, of little size" developed in Old English. Of children, "young," from mid-13c. Meaning "inferior in degree or amount" is from late 13c. Meaning "trivial, unimportant" is from mid-14c. Sense of "having little property or trade" is from 1746. That of "characterized by littleness of mind or spirit, base, low, mean" is from 1824. As an adverb by late 14c.
Small fry, first recorded 1690s of little fish, 1885 of insignificant people. Small potatoes "no great matter" first attested 1924; small change "something of little value" is from 1902; small talk "chit-chat, trifling conversation" (1751) first recorded in Chesterfield's "Letters." Small world as a comment upon an unexpected meeting of acquaintances is recorded from 1895. Small-arms, indicating those capable of being carried in the hand (contrasted to ordnance) is recorded from 1710.
early 13c., "small person or animal," from small (adj.). From c.1300 as "persons of low rank" (opposed to great); late 15c. as "the small part" of something (e.g. small of the back, 1530s).
In addition to the idioms beginning with small
- small beer
- small cog in a large wheel
- small frog in a big pond
- small fry
- small hours
- small print
- small talk
- small time
- small wonder
- big fish in a small pond
- (small) cog in the wheel
- give thanks for small blessings
- it's a small world
- little (small) frog in a big pond
- make a (small) fortune
- no (small) wonder
- still small voice