small1 W1S1 [smo:l US smo:l] adj comparative smaller superlative smallest
2¦(not important)¦
3 no small degree/achievement/task etc
5 small business/firm/farmer etc
7 conservative with a small 'c'/democrat with a small 'd' etc
9 look/feel small
10 (it's a) small world
11 a small fortune
12 small change
13 be thankful/grateful for small mercies/favours
14 the small hours
15 small arms
16 something is small potatoes
[: Old English; Origin: smAl]
1.) ¦(SIZE)¦
not large in size or amount
a small piece of paper
a small car
a small town
a small dark woman
The T-shirt was too small for him.
The sweater comes in three sizes - small, medium and large.
Only a relatively small number of people were affected.
a small amount of money
A much smaller proportion of women are employed in senior positions.
a small problem, job, mistake etc is not important or does not have a large effect
= ↑minor
We may have to make a few small changes.
There's been a small problem.
There's only a small difference between them.
It was good to feel we had helped in some small way.
3.) no small degree/achievement/task etc
a large degree, achievement etc
The success of the project is due in no small measure to the work of Dr Peterson.
That is no small achievement in the circumstances.
4.) ¦(YOUNG)¦
a small child is young
She has three small children.
I've known him since he was a small boy.
5.) small business/firm/farmer etc
a business that does not involve large amounts of money or does not employ a large number of people
grants for small businesses
6.) ¦(LETTER)¦
small letters are letters in the form a, b, c etc rather than A, B, C etc
≠ ↑capital
7.) conservative with a small 'c'/democrat with a small 'd' etc informal
someone who believes in the principles you have mentioned, but does not belong to an organized group or political party
8.) ¦(VOICE)¦
a small voice is quiet and soft
'What about me?' she asked in a small voice.
9.) look/feel small
to seem or feel stupid, unimportant, or ashamed
She jumped at any opportunity to make me look small .
10.) (it's a) small world
especially spoken used to express surprise when you unexpectedly meet someone you know or find out that someone has an unexpected connection to you
Did you know David went to school with my brother? It's a small world, isn't it?
11.) a small fortune
a large amount of money
cost/spend/pay a small fortune
It must have cost him a small fortune.
12.) small change
coins of low value
I didn't have any small change for the parking meter.
13.) be thankful/grateful for small mercies/favours
to be pleased that a bad situation is not even worse
She wasn't too badly hurt, so we should be thankful for small mercies.
14.) the small hours also the wee small hours BrE
the early morning hours, between about one and four o'clock
in/into the small hours
He finally fell exhausted into bed in the small hours.
The party continued into the wee small hours.
15.) small arms
guns that you hold with one or both hands when firing them
16.) sth is small potatoes also sth is small beer BrE informal used to say that someone or something is not important, especially when compared to other people or things
Even with £10,000 to invest, you are still small beer for most investment managers.
>small adv
He writes so small I can't read it.
>smallness n [U]
WORD CHOICE: small, little
Small is a very general word for talking about the size of something : a small village |a small man | He had small brown eyes. | The envelope was too small. | Do you have this shirt in a smaller size?
Little is used, especially in spoken English, to show how you feel about someone or something small, for example to show that you like them, dislike them, or feel sorry for them : What lovely little cakes! | her horrid little dog
!! You can say 'smaller' or 'smallest', but do not say 'littler' or 'littlest' : Her feet are even smaller (NOT littler/more little) than mine.
!! You can use words like 'quite', 'very' and 'too' in front of small , but do not use them with little : a very small car (NOT very little car)
small 2
small2 n
1.) the small of your back
the lower part of your back where it curves
2.) smalls [plural] BrE old-fashioned informal underwear

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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