- 1 The forms littler/lɪt̮lər/ and littlest/lɪt̮ləst/ are rare. It is more common to use smaller and smallest. not big; small; smaller than others a little house a little old lady the classic little black dress “Which do you want?” “I'll take the little one.” She gave a little laugh. Here's a little something (= a small present) for your birthday.
- 2used after an adjective to show affection or dislike, especially in a patronizing way (= one that suggests that you think you are better than someone) The poor little thing! It's lost its mother. What a nasty little man! She's a good little worker. He'd become quite the little gentleman.
- 3young a little boy/girl my little brother/sister (= younger brother/sister) I lived in an apartment when I was little.
- 4 (of distance or time) short Alittle while later the phone rang. Let's walk a little way.
- 5not important; not serious I can't remember every little detail. You soon get used to the little difficulties.
- noun [uncountable]Idioms
adjectivejump to other results
NAmE//ˈlɪt̮l//[usually before noun]
littlenessjump to other results
something large and successful often begins in a very small way
great/tall oaks from little acorns grow (saying)jump to other results
used to say that someone told you something but you do not want to say who it was
a little bird/birdie told me (informal)jump to other results
it is not surprising It's no small wonder (that) she was so upset. (informal) No wonder you're tired, you've been walking for hours.
(it's) no/little/small wonder (that)…jump to other results