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English definition of “little”

little

adverb (NOT MUCH)    /ˈlɪt.l̩/ US  /ˈlɪt̬-/
C1 not much: She slept very little that night. a little-known fact Little did he know what lay in store for him.Scarce, inadequate and not enoughLacking things little more/better C2 not much more or better: The wine they gave us was little better than vinegar. Grammar:Little, a little, few, a few(A) little and (a) few are quantifiers meaning ‘some’. Little and few have negative meanings. We use them to mean ‘not as much as may be expected or wished for’.See moreGrammar:A little, a few with a nounWe use a little with singular uncountable nouns. We use a few with plural countable nouns:See moreGrammar:Little, few with a nounWe use little with uncountable nouns. We use few with plural countable nouns. They are used in formal contexts:See moreGrammar:(A) little, (a) few without a nounWe can use (a) little and (a) few as pronouns. We can use them to substitute for a noun when it is obvious from the context:See moreGrammar:(A) little of, (a) few ofWe use of with (a) little and (a) few when they come before articles (a/an, the), demonstratives (this, that), possessives (my, your) or pronouns (him, them):See moreGrammar:A little: adverbWe use a little as an adverb of degree. It is more formal than a bit:See moreGrammar:A little with adjectives, determiners, adverbsWe use a little before adjectives and adverbs to modify them. It is more formal than a bit:See moreGrammar:Little: adjectiveWe use little as an adjective to mean ‘small’:See more
(Definition of little adverb (NOT MUCH) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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