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The Collaborative International Dictionary
Small letter

Small \Small\ (sm[add]l), a. [Compar. Smaller; superl. Smallest.] [OE. small, AS. sm[ae]l; akin to D. smal narrow, OS. & OHG. smal small, G. schmal narrow, Dan. & Sw. smal, Goth. smals small, Icel. smali smal cattle, sheep, or goats; cf. Gr. mh^lon a sheep or goat.]

  1. Having little size, compared with other things of the same kind; little in quantity or degree; diminutive; not large or extended in dimension; not great; not much; inconsiderable; as, a small man; a small river.

    To compare Great things with small.

  2. Being of slight consequence; feeble in influence or importance; unimportant; trivial; insignificant; as, a small fault; a small business.

  3. Envincing little worth or ability; not large-minded; -- sometimes, in reproach, paltry; mean.

    A true delineation of the smallest man is capable of interesting the greatest man.

  4. Not prolonged in duration; not extended in time; short; as, after a small space.

  5. Weak; slender; fine; gentle; soft; not loud. ``A still, small voice.'' --1 Kings xix. 12. Great and small,of all ranks or degrees; -- used especially of persons. ``His quests, great and small.'' --Chaucer. Small arms, muskets, rifles, pistols, etc., in distinction from cannon. Small beer. See under Beer. Small coal.

    1. Little coals of wood formerly used to light fires.

    2. Coal about the size of a hazelnut, separated from the coarser parts by screening.

      Small craft (Naut.), a vessel, or vessels in general, of a small size.

      Small fruits. See under Fruit.

      Small hand, a certain size of paper. See under Paper.

      Small hours. See under Hour.

      Small letter. (Print.), a lower-case letter. See Lower-case, and Capital letter, under Capital, a.

      Small piece, a Scotch coin worth about 21/4d. sterling, or about 41/2cents.

      Small register. See the Note under 1st Register, 7.

      Small stuff (Naut.), spun yarn, marline, and the smallest kinds of rope.
      --R. H. Dana, Jr.

      Small talk, light or trifling conversation; chitchat.

      Small wares (Com.), various small textile articles, as tapes, braid, tringe, and the like.

small letter

n. the characters that were once kept in bottom half of a compositor's type case [syn: lower case, lower-case letter, minuscule] [ant: capital]