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English definition of “little”

little

adjective (SMALL)    /ˈlɪt.l̩/ US  /ˈlɪt̬-/
A1 small in size or amount : It came in a little box . a little dog / nose / room A little old man came into the shop . He gave a little smile . It'll only take a little while to clear up the kitchen .SmallExtremely smallSmall in number and quantity a little something a small amount of food or drink : I always like to have a little something around eleven o'clock in the morning .Meals and parts of meals a present that is not of great value : I want to buy a little something to give to Val when I visit her in hospital .Presents and giftsGifts in the form of money 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’.Grammar:A little, a few with a nounWe use a little with singular uncountable nouns. We use a few with plural countable nouns:Grammar:Little, few with a nounWe use little with uncountable nouns. We use few with plural countable nouns. They are used in formal contexts:Grammar:(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:Grammar:(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):Grammar:A little: adverbWe use a little as an adverb of degree. It is more formal than a bit:Grammar:A little with adjectives, determiners, adverbsWe use a little before adjectives and adverbs to modify them. It is more formal than a bit:Grammar:Little: adjectiveWe use little as an adjective to mean ‘small’:
(Definition of little adjective (SMALL) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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