little

lit|tle1 W1S1 [ˈlıtl] adj
▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
1¦(size)¦
2¦(something you like or dislike)¦
3 a little bit
4¦(time/distance)¦
5¦(young)¦
6¦(slight)¦
7¦(unimportant)¦
8 (just) that little bit better/easier etc
9 the little woman
▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
[: Old English; Origin: lytel]
1.) ¦(SIZE)¦ [usually before noun]
small in size
a little house
a cake decorated with little flowers
She was cutting the meat up into little bits.
little tiny/tiny little
spoken (=extremely small)
a little tiny puppy
a little sth informal (=a small present, or a small amount of food)
I'd like to buy him a little something to thank him.
see usage notesmall1
2.) ¦(SOMETHING YOU LIKE OR DISLIKE)¦ [only before noun]
used between an adjective and a noun to emphasize that you like or dislike something or someone, although they are not important, impressive etc
It could be a nice little business.
a useful little gadget
It was another of her silly little jokes.
a boring little man
poor little thing
(=used to show sympathy)
The poor little thing had hurt its wing.
3.) a little bit
a) a small amount of something
a little bit of
With a little bit of luck we should finish by five o'clock.
I'm going to give you a little bit of advice.
Let me tell you a little bit about myself.
b) slightly or to a small degree
I was a little bit disappointed.
4.) ¦(TIME/DISTANCE)¦ [only before noun]
short in time or distance
You could have a little sleep in the car.
We walked a little way along this path.
He arrived a little while ago.
5.) ¦(YOUNG)¦
little children are young
We didn't have toys like this when I was little.
little boy/girl
two little boys playing in the street
sb's little boy/girl
(=someone's son or daughter who is still a child)
Mum, I'm 17 - I'm not your little girl any longer.
sb's little brother/sister
(=a younger brother or sister who is still a child)
Her little brother and sister were fighting again.
6.) ¦(SLIGHT)¦ [only before noun]
done in a way that is not very noticeable
a little smile
Nicolo gave a little nod of his head.
7.) ¦(UNIMPORTANT)¦ [only before noun]
a) not important
She gets very angry over little things.
There isn't time to discuss every little detail.
b) not important - used when you really think that something is important
There's just that little matter of the £5000 you owe me.
8.) (just) that little bit better/easier etc
better, easier etc by a small amount that will have an important effect
Working fewer hours will make life just that little bit easier for me.
9.) the little woman
old-fashioned someone's wife - often used humorously but now considered offensive by many women
a little bird told me atbird
little 2
little2 W1S1 determiner, pron
1.) only a small amount or hardly any of something
There's little doubt in my mind that he's guilty.
I paid little attention to what the others were saying.
Little is known about the causes of the problem.
Changes in the law have done little to improve the situation.
little of
Little of their wealth now remains.
There's very little money left.
Many of the students speak little or no English.
He knew little or nothing (=almost nothing) about fixing cars.
My lawyer advised me to say as little as possible .
He did precious little (=very little) to help.
The laboratory tests are of little real value.
see usage notefew
2.) a little
a small amount
Fortunately I had a little time to spare.
Susan speaks a little French.
A little over half the class can swim.
He walked on a little (=a short distance) and then turned back.
a little more/less
Would you like a little more milk in your coffee?
a little of
The city is regaining a little of its former splendour.
3.) as little as £5/3 months/10 feet etc
used to emphasize how surprisingly small an amount is
Prices for his paintings start from as little as £100.
The weather can change completely in as little as half an hour.
4.) what little also the little (that)
used to emphasize how small an amount there is, how small an amount is possible etc
We did what little we could to help.
I handed over what little money I had left.
5.) a little (of sth) goes a long way
spoken used to say that only a small amount of something is needed or has a great effect
A little kindness goes a long way.
little 3
little3 W1S1 adv
1.) a little
slightly or to a small degree
= ↑a bit
She trembled a little as she spoke.
He was a little surprised at her request.
a little more/better/further etc
We'll have to wait a little longer to see what happens.
2.) not much or only slightly
The town has changed little over the years.
The situation has improved very little .
little known/understood etc
(=not known about by many people)
a little known corner of the world
little more/better etc (than sth)
His voice was little more than a whisper.
3.) little did sb know/realize/think etc
used to say that someone did not know or think that something would happen or was true
Little did I know that the course of my life was about to change.
4.) little by little
gradually
Little by little he became accepted by the family.
5.) more than a little/not a little
literary extremely
Graham was more than a little frightened by what he had seen.
BrE
a group of stars

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

Synonyms:

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