- 1Of a size that is less than normal or usual: the room was small and quiet the small hill that sheltered the houseMore example sentences
little, compact, bijou, tiny, miniature, mini; minute, microscopic, minuscule; toy, baby; poky, cramped, boxyweeshort, little, petite, diminutive, elfin, tiny; puny, undersized, stunted, dwarfish, midget, pygmy, Lilliputian; Scottish weeinadequate, meager, insufficient, ungenerous
- Its high performance in a small case size also means that the costs can be reduced by using fewer or smaller capacitors.
- The precision of variance components is reduced when sample size is small.
- Staff revealed that four ovens were situated on the ground floor, two electric and two gas, each the same size as a small car.
- 1.1Not great in amount, number, strength, or power: a small amount of moneyMore example sentences
- Both areas were receiving small amounts of money over the years but little progress was being made.
- Prior to the euro, some countries used notes for quite small amounts of money.
- It is making me ridiculously happy, so it must have been worth the small amount of money I spent.
- 1.2Not fully grown or developed; young: as a small boy, he spent his days either reading or watching TVMore example sentences
- As a small boy Johnnie grew up to know and love those lovely hills that surrounded his home in Castlerock.
- Neither did they know of the sacrifices made by small boy, grown beyond his years, so that he could keep them all safe.
- The gland is very small in babies and grows at the time of puberty in response to testosterone secreted by the testicles.
- 1.4Insignificant; unimportant: these are small pointsMore example sentences
- The flowers seem small and insignificant during the day but at twilight they glow in the fading light and look beautiful.
- He was small and insignificant but had a firearm trained on my navel.
- The peaks of Glen Shiel loomed over and made me feel deliciously small and insignificant.
- 1.5(Of a voice) lacking strength and confidence: “I’m scared,” she said in a small voiceMore example sentences
- It is at this point, though, that a small voice breaks in to ask, cui bono?
- She came back towards us and asked in a small voice if she could have our autographs.
- Rosie was speaking in a small voice, turning back to the floor as they made their way out the school building.
- 1.7 [attributive] (Of a business or its owner) operating on a modest scale: a small farmerMore example sentences
- The study showed that small business owners and managers felt they came up with seven good ideas a month.
- It is appealing for other small business owners to pay for booklets for their local school.
- He said the experience gave him a new appreciation for small business owners.
noun(smalls) British • informal Back to top
- Small items of clothing, especially underwear.More example sentences
- Do we know if secreted about his smalls he has a pair of boxer shorts in either the ancient or red tartan of his venerable clanspersons?
- Most retail philistines won't quite see what all the fuss is about; smalls are smalls, they murmur, no matter where they are sold.
- If I could now ask you to drop your trousers and smalls…
adverbBack to top
- 1.1In a small size: you shouldn’t write so smallMore example sentences
- It started out small and kept on expanding until it became one of the largest universities in the region.
- The US may grumble that Europe talks big and acts small, but that is pretty much what Washington wants.
feel (or look) small
- Feel (or look) contemptibly weak or insignificant.More example sentences
foolish, stupid, insignificant, unimportant; embarrassed, humiliated, uncomfortable, mortified, ashamed; crushed
- Are there some people or situations that make you feel small or weak when you encounter them?
- Freshmen stood timidly together in circles, looking small and insignificant.
- He looked small and weak underneath the pale blue lab coat.
it's a small world
- Used to express surprise at meeting an acquaintance or discovering a personal connection in a distant place or an unexpected context.More example sentences
- Meeting you set me to thinking what a small world it was which was topped off by discovering that Rodney's girlfriend's mum walks her dog in the same place that I do, and I know her, and her three legged beastie!
- Her last address is in… well, what a small world, Salisbury, Massachusetts.
- ‘Really,’ he said, ‘I'm from Glendale, Arizona--what a small world.’
no small ——
- A good deal of ——: a matter of no small consequenceMore example sentences
- T.S. Eliot went to no small pains to energetically denounce the ‘epidemic’ that was ‘Bergsonism.’
- Even minor things can bungle hard work, and English materials in international events are no small problems.
- They are building homes again as you read this, and in no small numbers either.
the small of the back
- The part of a person’s back where the spine curves in at the level of the waist.More example sentences
- The needle is passed into the space between two of the spinal bones in the small of the back (lumbar vertebrae).
- When this occurs, it usually occurs on the anterior or posterior thigh or the small of the back.
- If the chair back stops at the level of the small of the back, or anywhere below the shoulder blades, it is best given a curve.
- • informal Something insignificant or unimportant: her business was small potatoesMore example sentences
- In a year when our public school board was usurped by a provincial appointee and the prospect of a 40-cent TTC fare hike was raised, these achievements may seem like small potatoes.
- It's also small potatoes when compared to the estimated $464 million Ottawa spent on drug enforcement between 1999-2000.
- I realize that this is small potatoes in the grand scheme of government encroachments into private enterprise, but it is a no-brainer for someone who even leans libertarian.
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- This resilient family set about having the house rebuilt, a smallish house as this was the time of building restrictions.
- They also offered bribes to analysts for two smallish brokerage firms in return for favourable investment reports.
- We wash using the old-fashioned way - a smallish tub full of water, a ladle, a loofah, soap and shampoo.
- More example sentences
- In the attempt to find something flattering to say about her, the press widely remarked upon the smallness and delicacy of her feet and the beauty of her footwear.
- And given the Earth's relative smallness on the galactic line, chances are it won't be hitting us.
- This portional smallness is ingrained in Japan where, traditionally, food portion size is diminished and the aesthetic expanded.
Old English smæl, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch smal and German schmal.