Definition of diminutive in English:

diminutive

Line breaks: di¦minu|tive
Pronunciation: /dɪˈmɪnjʊtɪv
 
/

adjective

noun

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  • 1A smaller or shorter thing, in particular:
    More example sentences
    • It is the role of giant ruffians like me to fall before doughty diminutives like him, and each of us must play our part in that ancient story.
    • His collection of approximately one hundred and twenty-five antique, renaissance and eighteenth century decorative gems is a perfect example of his delight in the diminutive.
    • Our culture strangely gives value to the large and is dismissive of the diminutive.
  • 1.1A diminutive word or suffix.
    More example sentences
    • The word is a diminutive of inland navigator, referring to the men who built the canals that preceded the railways.
    • The name ‘baba’ is the colloquial Ukrainian word for woman or grandma, while ‘babka’ is a diminutive of the same word.
    • It is hardly surprising therefore that the Arabic word for ‘garden’ should be the diminutive of the word for ‘Paradise’.
  • 1.2A shortened form of a name, typically used informally: ‘Nick’ is a diminutive of ‘Nicholas’
    More example sentences
    • In 1928 he proclaimed himself King of Albania, taking the name Zog, a diminutive of his family's surname.
    • Children sometimes are called by diminutives of their names.
    • The rabbis rounded his name, added the diminutive.
  • 1.3 Heraldry A charge of the same form as an ordinary but of lesser size or width.

Derivatives

diminutively

adverb
More example sentences
  • The diminutively handsome valley boy is definitely the band's strength - writing all the lyrics and music, except for the collaboration with his producer - but is he their weakest link too?
  • She is clearly out of her depth when it comes to African history - she mistakenly equates the Wolof language with Mande and refers to the local scene diminutively as ‘folk culture.’
  • Two powerful beings constantly bashing their physical selves against the wall; before long, a large crack could be seen and faint glow of light peeked in diminutively.

diminutiveness

noun
More example sentences
  • It's perhaps her suppleness and quick movements which give the impression of diminutiveness and which allow her to walk as though she's on little springs.
  • Near the base of one of the angled panels is a tiny forest-green rectangle, like a door, and its diminutiveness makes the whole structure feel gigantic.
  • Indeed, the diminutiveness of the standard error worsens, the larger the t that is required.

Origin

late Middle English (as a grammatical term): from Old French diminutif, -ive, from late Latin diminutivus, from Latin deminut- 'diminished', from the verb deminuere (see diminish).

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