Definition of little adverb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈlɪtl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈlɪtl//
    (less, least)
    jump to other results
  1. 1  not much; only slightly He is little known as an artist. I slept very little last night. Little did I know that this spelled the end of my career.
  2. 2  a little (bit) to a small degree She seemed a little afraid of going inside. These shoes are a little (bit) too big for me. (informal) Everything has become just that little bit harder. (formal) She felt tired and more than a little worried. British/​Americana bit / a little In British English it is common to use a bit to mean ‘slightly’ or ‘to a small extent’:These shoes are a bit tight. I’ll be a bit later home tomorrow. Can you turn the volume up a bit? It is more common in North American English to say a little, or (informal) a little bit. You can also use these phrases in British English:These shoes are a little bit too tight. I’ll be a little later home tomorrow. Can you turn the volume up a little bit?
  3. Word OriginOld English lȳtel, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch luttel, German dialect lützel.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: little