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English definition of “small”

small

adjective uk   /smɔːl/ us    /smɑːl/

small adjective (LITTLE)

A1 little in size or amount when compared with what is typical or average: a small dog/house/car/country I'd rather live in a small town than a big city. Would you like a large or small cola with your burger? Ella is the smallest girl in her class. That jacket's too small for you. He's small for his age. Only a small number of applicants are successful. The number of women in parliament is pitifully (= extremely) small. Liqueurs are usually drunk in small quantities.

small adjective (YOUNG)

A1 describes a very young child that is older than a baby: Taking care of small children can be very tiring.

small adjective (LIMITED ACTIVITY)

[before noun] limited in the amount of an activity: The government should give more help to small businessmen (= people whose businesses are of a limited size). Chris is quite a small eater so he won't want much. If you can help us in a small way (= to a limited degree) it would be greatly appreciated.

small adjective (NOT IMPORTANT)

A2 not very important or not likely to cause problems: She just made a couple of small mistakes in the test. I have a small problem I would like to discuss with you.

small adjective (ASHAMED)

ashamed or weak: Talking to her makes me feel small. He's always trying to make me look small in front of my boss.

small adjective (LETTER SIZE)

[before noun] describes letters that are not capital letters: The poet e. e. cummings wrote his name with small letters, not capital letters. UK A conservative with a small "c" is someone who has traditional values, such as disliking change in society, rather than being a member or supporter of the Conservative Party. We can use this structure with other words to say something is more general or less extreme than the usual meaning: Management is all about politics with a small "p".
smallness
noun [U] uk   /ˈsmɔːl.nəs/ us    /ˈsmɑːl-/
The smallness of the city often surprises first-time visitors.

small

adverb uk   /smɔːl/ us    /smɑːl/
in a small size: The instructions are printed so small I can hardly read them.

small

noun uk   /smɔːl/ us    /smɑːl/

small noun (UNDERWEAR)

smalls [plural] UK old-fashioned informal underwear, especially when being washed or about to be washed: Do you have any smalls that need washing?

small noun (BODY)

the small of your back the middle of the lower back: I have a pain in the small of my back.
(Definition of small from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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