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This page has 28 definitions of small with English translations in 4 languages. Small is an adjective, an adverb, noun and verb. Examples of how to use small in a sentence are shown. Also define these 50 related words and terms: large, big, insignificant, few, number, little, microscopic, minuscule, minute, tiny, generous, humiliated, penis, muscles, under-endowed, young, child, wee, adult, grown-up, old, writing, lowercase, letter, capital, majuscule, uppercase, worth, ability, minded, paltry, mean, small science, clothing, size, S, smaller, back, make, less, become, dwindle, till, nought, smella, narrow, slender, smal, smelle, and smälla.

See also: Small and smäll



From Middle English smal, from Old English smæl (small, narrow, slender), from Proto-Germanic *smalaz (small), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)mal-, *(s)mel- (small, mean, malicious). Cognate with Scots smal; sma (small); West Frisian smel (narrow); Dutch smal (narrow); German schmal (narrow, small); Danish, Norwegian, Swedish smal (narrow; thin; slender); Latin malus (bad); Russian ма́лый (mályj, small).



small (comparative smaller, superlative smallest)

  1. Not large or big; insignificant; few in number.
    Synonyms: little, microscopic, minuscule, minute, tiny; see also Thesaurus:tiny
    Antonyms: big, (said of an amount of something given) generous, large; see also Thesaurus:large
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter V, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      Here, in the transept and choir, where the service was being held, one was conscious every moment of an increasing brightness; colours glowing vividly beneath the circular chandeliers, and the rows of small lights on the choristers' desks flashed and sparkled in front of the boys' faces, deep linen collars, and red neckbands.
    • 2013 June 22, “Engineers of a different kind”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8841, page 70:
      Private-equity nabobs bristle at being dubbed mere financiers. Piling debt onto companies’ balance-sheets is only a small part of what leveraged buy-outs are about, they insist. Improving the workings of the businesses they take over is just as core to their calling, if not more so. Much of their pleading is public-relations bluster.
    A small serving of ice cream.
    A small group.
    1. Humiliated or insignificant.
      The bullies had succeeded in making him feel small.
    2. Having a small penis, muscles, or other important body parts, regardless of overall body size.
      Synonyms: little, under-endowed (of genitals)
      Though over six feet tall, the man was very small and ashamed to undress.
  2. (figuratively, incomparable) Young, as a child.
    Synonyms: little, (Scottish) wee, young
    Antonyms: adult, grown-up, old
    Remember when the children were small?
    • Old definition
      Of an object, concept, relationship, etc., having existed for a relatively long period of time. (1 of 17 old definitions)
  3. (writing, incomparable) Minuscule or lowercase, referring to written or printed letters.
    Synonyms: lowercase, minuscule
    Antonyms: big, capital, majuscule, uppercase
    • 1959, Anthony Burgess, Beds in the East (The Malayan Trilogy), published 1972, page 584:
      "I've got catholic tastes. Catholic with a small "c", of course."
    • Lowercase definition
      Alternative spelling of lower case
  4. Evincing little worth or ability; not large-minded; paltry; mean.
    • Minded definition
      Having or exemplifying a mind of the stated type, nature or inclination. (1 of 2 minded definitions)
  5. Not prolonged in duration; not extended in time; short.
    a small space of time
  6. Synonym of little (of an industry or institution(s) therein: operating on a small scale, unlike larger counterparts)
    small science
  7. (archaic) Slender, gracefully slim.
  8. (especially clothing, food or drink) That is small (the manufactured size).
    I'll have a small coffee, thanks.

Derived terms



small (comparative smaller, superlative smallest)

  1. In a small fashion
    Don't write very small!
  2. In or into small pieces.
    • 2009, Ingrid Hoffman, CBS Early Morning for September 28, 2009 (transcription)
      That's going to go in there. We've got some chives small chopped as well.
  3. (obsolete) To a small extent.
  4. (obsolete) In a low tone; softly.

Derived terms


small (countable and uncountable, plural smalls) (nominalized)

  1. (uncountable, especially clothing, food or drink) One of several common sizes to which an item may be manufactured.
    Synonym: S
  2. (countable, especially clothing, food or drink) An item labelled or denoted as being that size.
    Two smalls and a large, please.
  3. (countable, especially with respect to clothing) One who fits an item of that size.
  4. (countable, rare) Any part of something that is smaller or slimmer than the rest, now usually with anatomical reference to the back.

Derived terms


small (third-person singular simple present smalls, present participle smalling, simple past and past participle smalled)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To make little or less.
  2. (intransitive) To become small; to dwindle.




small (strong)

  1. first-person singular past indicative of smella
    • Smella definition
      to crack
  2. third-person singular past indicative of smella

Low German


From Middle Low German smal, from Old Saxon smal, from Proto-Germanic *smalaz. Cognate with German schmal, Dutch smal, English small.


small (comparative smaller, superlative smallst)

  1. narrow
  2. small, slender