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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Little \Lit"tle\ (l[i^]t"t'l), a. [The regular comparative and superlative of this word, littler and littlest, are often used as comparatives of the sense small; but in the sense few, less, or, rarely, lesser is the proper comparative and least is the superlative. See Lesser. The regular form, littlest, occurs also in some of the English provinces, and occasionally in colloquial language. `` Where love is great, the littlest doubts are fear.'' --Shak.] [OE. litel, lutel, AS. l[=y]tel, l[=i]tel, l[=y]t; akin to OS. littil, D. luttel, LG. l["u]tt, OHG. luzzil, MHG. l["u]tzel; and perh. to AS. lytig deceitful, lot deceit, Goth. liuts deceitful, lut[=o]n to deceive; cf. also Icel. l[=i]till little, Sw. liten, Dan. liden, lille, Goth. leitils, which appear to have a different root vowel.]

  1. Small in size or extent; not big; diminutive; -- opposed to big or large; as, a little body; a little animal; a little piece of ground; a little hill; a little distance; a little child.

    He sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.
    --Luke xix. 3.

  2. Short in duration; brief; as, a little sleep.

    Best him enough: after a little time, I'll beat him too.

  3. Small in quantity or amount; not much; as, a little food; a little air or water.

    Conceited of their little wisdoms, and doting upon their own fancies.

  4. Small in dignity, power, or importance; not great; insignificant; contemptible.

    When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes?
    --I Sam. xv. 17.

  5. Small in force or efficiency; not strong; weak; slight; inconsiderable; as, little attention or exertion;little effort; little care or diligence.

    By sad experiment I know How little weight my words with thee can find.

  6. Small in extent of views or sympathies; narrow; shallow; contracted; mean; illiberal; ungenerous.

    The long-necked geese of the world that are ever hissing dispraise, Because their natures are little.

    Little chief. (Zo["o]l.) See Chief hare.

    Little Englander, an Englishman opposed to territorial expansion of the British Empire. See Antiimperialism, above. Hence:

    Little Englandism.

    Little finger, the fourth and smallest finger of the hand.

    Little go (Eng. Universities), a public examination about the middle of the course, which is less strict and important than the final one; -- called also smalls. Cf. Great go, under Great.

    Little hours (R. C. Ch.), the offices of prime, tierce, sext, and nones. Vespers and compline are sometimes included.

    Little-neck clam, or Little neck (Zo["o]l.), the quahog, or round clam.

    Little ones, young children.

    The men, and the women, and the little ones.
    --Deut. ii. 34.

    Little peach, a disease of peaches in which the fruit is much dwarfed, and the leaves grow small and thin. The cause is not known.

    Little Rhod"y, Rhode Island; -- a nickname alluding to its small size. It is the smallest State of the United States.

    Little Sisters of the Poor (R. C. Ch.), an order of women who care for old men and women and infirm poor, for whom special houses are built. It was established at St. Servan, Britany, France, in 1840, by the Abb['e] Le Pailleur.

    Little slam (Bridge Whist), the winning of 12 out of the 13 tricks. It counts 20 points on the honor score. Contrasted with grand slam.


n. 1 (context UK Australia informal English) underwear. 2 (plural of small English)Category:English plurals


Smalls may refer to:

  • An informal colloquial term for undergarments
  • Camp Robert Smalls, a United States Naval training facility
  • Fort Robert Smalls, a Civil War redoubt
  • Smalls Creek, a northern tributary of the Parramatta River
  • Smalls Falls, a waterfall in Maine, USA
  • Smalls Jazz Club, a jazz club located in New York City
  • Nickname for responsions, an examination formerly conducted at Oxford University
  • The Smalls, a group rocks off the coast of and the location of the Smalls Lighthouse
  • The Smalls (1990–2001), a punk rock band from Edmonton, Canada
  • Tijuana Smalls, a brand of flavored cigarette
Smalls (surname)

Smalls is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

  • Bertie Smalls (1935–2008), noted British supergrass
  • Biggie Smalls, former name of The Notorious B.I.G.
  • Charlie Smalls (1943–87), composer and songwriter
  • Cliff Smalls (1918-2008), American jazz trombonist, pianist, conductor and arranger
  • Fred Smalls (born 1963), American football linebacker
  • Joan Smalls, Puerto Rican fashion model
  • Robert Smalls (1839–1915), slave who, during and after the American Civil War, became a ship's pilot, sea captain and politician
  • Tiger Smalls, American boxing trainer
  • Tionna T. Smalls, American author and media personality
  • Tommy Smalls (1926/7-72), New York radio disc jockey known as "Dr. Jive"

Fictional characters:

  • Derek Smalls, bassist in the parody heavy metal band Spinal Tap (band)

Usage examples of "smalls".

It told of a hidden race of mouse-sized people known as the Smalls, reduced to their diminutive stature in the Middle Ages by a cranky old witch who died before her curse could be removed.

Supposedly the Smalls prospered through the ages, living a hidden life alongside that of more normal-sized people right up to the present day.

There was a bit of the familiar Dunthorn magic in the book as well: the Smalls, whose miniature craft was found in the harbour one morning at low tide, and the hidden music that could grant any one wish, could one but remember its odd phrasing and repeat it.

Why wouldn’t it call to Smalls and the like if there really are such things?

Like his elder brother James, at present up at Oxford, prior to taking Orders, he had been educated at Harrow, but he was at present domiciled at home, working under his father’s guidance with a view to passing Smalls during the Easter Vacation.

Beaumaris about Smalls, and his hopes of adorning the Home Office, and when Mr.