Anything small, brief, young, or unimportant can be described as little. If you live in a little cottage, it means your house is very small, and quite possibly adorable.

The word little describes something tiny and sweet, like a little kitten or a little doll house rocking chair. Little can also mean some, but not much, like when you only want a little soup — not a big bowl, or when you put little effort into your appearance when you are doing yard work. The expression little by little means very slowly, or by tiny increments, like learning a new language little by little.

Definitions of little
  1. adjective
    limited or below average in number or quantity or magnitude or extent
    “a little dining room”
    “a little house”
    “a little (or small) group”
    synonyms: small
    immeasurably small
    of smaller than atomic dimensions
    bantam, diminutive, flyspeck, lilliputian, midget, petite, tiny
    very small
    bittie, bitty, itsy-bitsy, itty-bitty, teensy, teensy-weensy, teentsy, teeny, teeny-weeny, wee, weensy, weeny
    (used informally) very small
    small and insignificant
    atypically small
    elfin, elflike
    small and delicate
    used of small deformed creatures
    half the usual or regular size
    infinitesimal, minute
    infinitely or immeasurably small
    smaller in size or amount or value
    microscopic, microscopical
    so small as to be invisible without a microscope
    extremely small in scale or scope or capability
    being on a very small scale
    miniscule, minuscule
    very small
    about the size of an olive
    pocket-size, pocket-sized, pocketable
    small enough to be carried in a garment pocket
    puny, runty, shrimpy
    (used especially of persons) of inferior size
    slender, slim
    small in quantity
    littler, smaller
    small or little relative to something else
    rather small
    created or drawn on a small scale
    undersize, undersized
    smaller than normal for its kind
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    big, large
    above average in size or number or quantity or magnitude or extent
    ample, sizable, sizeable
    fairly large
    astronomic, astronomical, galactic
    inconceivably large
    large as a bear
    bigger, larger
    large or big relative to something else
    biggish, largish
    somewhat large
    blown-up, enlarged
    as of a photograph; made larger
    bouffant, puffy
    being puffed out; used of hair style or clothing
    broad, spacious, wide
    very large in expanse or scope
    of large size for its weight
    large in capacity
    colossal, prodigious, stupendous
    so great in size or force or extent as to elicit awe
    large in quantity or size
    large enough for two
    enormous, tremendous
    extraordinarily large in size or extent or amount or power or degree
    inconceivably extended in space or time
    elephantine, gargantuan, giant, jumbo
    of great mass; huge and bulky
    epic, heroic, larger-than-life
    very imposing or impressive; surpassing the ordinary (especially in size or scale)
    extended, extensive
    large in spatial extent or range or scope or quantity
    gigantic, mammoth
    so exceedingly large or extensive as to suggest a giant or mammoth
    relatively large in size or number or extent; larger than others of its kind
    large and impressive in physical size or extent
    Brobdingnagian, huge, immense, vast
    unusually great in size or amount or degree or especially extent or scope
    hulking, hulky
    of great size and bulk
    banging, humongous, thumping, walloping, whopping
    (used informally) very large
    king-size, king-sized
    extra large
    having a relatively large mouth
    unusually large in scope
    constructed or drawn to a big scale
    full-size, life-size, life-sized, lifesize
    being of the same size as an original
    macroscopic, macroscopical
    large enough to be visible with the naked eye
    very large in scale or scope or capability
    very large; appropriate to the size of a man
    massive, monolithic, monumental
    imposing in size or bulk or solidity
    imposing in scale or scope or degree or power
    of anything that is large but not the largest
    abnormally large
    like a mountain in size and impressiveness
    outsize, outsized, oversize, oversized
    larger than normal for its kind
    overlarge, too large
    excessively large
    very large; of exceptional size for its kind
    queen-size, queen-sized
    (used especially of beds) not as large as king-size
    allowing ample room for ranging
    extremely large
    of great force or power
    formed or rising in rounded masses
    large in volume or bulk
    (British informal) enormous
    including much
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  2. adjective
    (quantifier used with mass nouns) small in quantity or degree; not much or almost none or (with `a') at least some
    little rain fell in May”
    “gave it little thought”
    little time is left”
    “we still have little money”
    “a little hope remained”
    synonyms: slight
    slight or limited; especially in degree or intensity or scope
    (comparative of `little' usually used with mass nouns) a quantifier meaning not as great in amount or degree
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    (quantifier used with mass nouns) great in quantity or degree or extent
    very great in quantity; overabundant
    relatively much but unspecified in amount or extent
    of so extreme a degree or extent
    of an incalculable amount
    more, more than
    (comparative of `much' used with mass nouns) a quantifier meaning greater in size or amount or extent or degree
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  3. adjective
    low in stature; not tall
    “a little man”
    synonyms: short
    literal meanings; being at or having a relatively small elevation or upward extension
    chunky, dumpy, low-set, squat, squatty, stumpy
    short and thick; as e.g. having short legs and heavy musculature
    compact, heavyset, stocky, thick, thickset
    having a short and solid form or stature
    representing only the upper half of the body
    pint-size, pint-sized, runty, sawed-off, sawn-off
    well below average height
    of plants having relatively short stalks
    squab, squabby
    short and fat
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    great in vertical dimension; high in stature
    (literal meaning) being at or having a relatively great or specific elevation or upward extension (sometimes used in combinations like `knee-high')
    big, large
    above average in size or number or quantity or magnitude or extent
    gangling, gangly, lanky, rangy
    tall and thin and having long slender limbs
    in height
    having a specified height
    leggy, long-legged, long-shanked
    having long legs
    leggy, tall-growing
    (of plants) having tall spindly stems
    of relatively great height
    long-stalked, tall-stalked
    of plants having relatively long stalks
    stately, statuesque
    of size and dignity suggestive of a statue
    somewhat tall
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  4. adjective
    (of children and animals) young, immature
    “what a big little boy you are”
    synonyms: small
    immature, young
    (used of living things especially persons) in an early period of life or development or growth
  5. adjective
    (informal) small and of little importance
    “a little (or small) matter”
    synonyms: fiddling, footling, lilliputian, niggling, petty, picayune, piddling, piffling, trivial
    not important
  6. adjective
    (of a voice) faint
    “a little voice”
    synonyms: small
    (of sound) relatively low in volume
  7. adjective
    little a”
    synonyms: miniscule, minuscule, small
    relating to small (not capitalized) letters that were kept in the lower half of a compositor's type case
  8. adverb
    not much
    “he talked little about his family”
  9. noun
    a small amount or duration
    “he accepted the little they gave him”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    small indefinite amount, small indefinite quantity
    an indefinite quantity that is below average size or magnitude
  10. adjective
    small in a way that arouses feelings (of tenderness or its opposite depending on the context)
    “a nice little job”
    “bless your little heart”
    “my dear little mother”
    “a sweet little deal”
    “I'm tired of your petty little schemes”
    “filthy little tricks”
    “what a nasty little situation”
    of more than usual emotion
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