see also: Little
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈlɪtəl/, [ˈlɪtl̩], [ˈlɪ.tʰɫ̩]
  • (America) IPA: /ˈlɪtl̩/, [ˈlɪ.ɾɫ̩], [ˈɫɪ.ɾɫ]
  • (New Zealand) IPA: /ˈlɘtl̩/
  • (AU) IPA: /ˈlɪ.ɾɫ̩/


  1. Small in size.
    This is a little table.
  2. Insignificant, trivial.
    It's of little importance.
    1. (offensive) Used to belittle a person.
      Listen up, you little shit.
  3. Very young.
    Did he tell you any embarrassing stories about when she was little?
    That's the biggest little boy I've ever seen.
  4. (of a sibling) Younger.
    This is my little sister.
  5. Used with the name of place, especially of a country, to denote a neighborhood whose residents or storekeepers are from that place.
    • 1871 October 18, The One-eyed Philosopher [pseudonym], "Street Corners", in Judy: or the London serio-comic journal, volume 9, page 255 :
      If you want to find Little France, take any turning on the north side of Leicester square, and wander in a zigzag fashion Oxford Streetwards. The Little is rather smokier and more squalid than the Great France upon the other side of the Manche.
    • 2004, Barry Miles, Zappa: A Biography, 2005 edition, ISBN 080214215X, page 5:
      In the forties, hurdy-gurdy men could still be heard in all those East Coast cities with strong Italian neighbourhoods: New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Boston. A visit to Baltimore's Little Italy at that time was like a trip to Italy itself.
  6. Small in amount or number, having few members.
    little money;  little herd
  7. Short in duration; brief.
    I feel better after my little sleep.
  8. Small in extent of views or sympathies; narrow; shallow; contracted; mean; illiberal; ungenerous.
    • RQ
      The long-necked geese of the world that are ever hissing dispraise, / Because their natures are little.
    • 2001, Nicholas Petsalis-Diomidis, The Unknown Callas: the Greek Years, pg 547.
      Showing unmistakably what a little person he really was, in June 1949 he wrote his newly married daughter with nauseating disregard for the truth
Antonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Adverb


  1. Not much.
    This is a little known fact.  She spoke little and listened less.
    • 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, chapter I, in Nobody, New York, N.Y.: George H[enry] Doran Company, published 1915, OCLC 40817384 ↗:
      Little disappointed, then, she turned attention to "Chat of the Social World," gossip which exercised potent fascination upon the girl's intelligence. She devoured with more avidity than she had her food those pretentiously phrased chronicles of the snobocracy […] distilling therefrom an acid envy that robbed her napoleon of all its savour.
  2. Not at all.
    I was speaking ill of Fred; little did I know that he was right behind me, listening in.
    • 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], chapter 1, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., […], OCLC 752825175 ↗:
      But then I had the [massive] flintlock by me for protection. ¶ […] The linen-press and a chest on the top of it formed, however, a very good gun-carriage; and, thus mounted, aim could be taken out of the window […], and a 'bead' could be drawn upon Molly, the dairymaid, kissing the fogger behind the hedge, little dreaming that the deadly tube was levelled at them.
Antonyms Translations Determiner
  1. Not much, only a little: only a small amount (of).
    There is little water left.
    We had very little to do.
Antonyms Translations Pronoun
  1. Not much; not a large amount.
    Little is known about his early life.

little (plural littles)

  1. A small amount.
    Can I try a little of that sauce?
    Many littles make a mickle. (Scottish proverb)
  2. (BDSM, slang) The participant in ageplay who acts out the younger role.
Related terms
Proper noun
  1. Surname

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