Choose the right word
small, diminutive, little, miniature, minute, petite, tiny
Why do we call a house small and a woman petite? Small and little are used interchangeably to describe people or things of reduced dimensions, but small is preferred when describing something concrete that is of less than the usual size, quantity, value, or importance ( a small matter to discuss; a small room, a small price to pay). Little more often refers to concepts ( through little fault of his own; an issue of little importance) or to a more drastic reduction in scale ( a little shopping cart just like the one her mother used). Diminutive and petite intensify the meaning of small, particularly with reference to women's figures that are very trim and compact ( with her diminutive figure, she had to shop in stores that specialized in petite sizes). Tiny is used to describe what is extremely small, often to the point where it can be seen only by looking closely ( a tiny flaw in the material; a tiny insect), while minute not only describes what is seen with difficulty but may also refer to a very small amount of something ( minute traces of gunpowder on his glove). Miniature applies specifically to a copy, a model, or a representation of something on a very small scale ( a child's mobile consisting of miniature farm animals).