Little Lit"tle (l[i^]t"t'l), a. [The regular comparative and superlative of this word, littler and littlest, are often used as comparatives of the sense small; but in the sense few, less, or, rarely, lesser is the proper comparative and least is the superlative. See {Lesser}. The regular form, littlest, occurs also in some of the English provinces, and occasionally in colloquial language. `` Where love is great, the littlest doubts are fear.'' --Shak.] [OE. litel, lutel, AS. l[=y]tel, l[=i]tel, l[=y]t; akin to OS. littil, D. luttel, LG. l["u]tt, OHG. luzzil, MHG. l["u]tzel; and perh. to AS. lytig deceitful, lot deceit, Goth. liuts deceitful, lut[=o]n to deceive; cf. also Icel. l[=i]till little, Sw. liten, Dan. liden, lille, Goth. leitils, which appear to have a different root vowel.] 1. Small in size or extent; not big; diminutive; -- opposed to {big} or {large}; as, a little body; a little animal; a little piece of ground; a little hill; a little distance; a little child. [1913 Webster]

He sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. --Luke xix. 3. [1913 Webster]

2. Short in duration; brief; as, a little sleep. [1913 Webster]

Best him enough: after a little time, I'll beat him too. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

3. Small in quantity or amount; not much; as, a little food; a little air or water. [1913 Webster]

Conceited of their little wisdoms, and doting upon their own fancies. --Barrow. [1913 Webster]

4. Small in dignity, power, or importance; not great; insignificant; contemptible. [1913 Webster]

When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes? --I Sam. xv. 17. [1913 Webster]

5. Small in force or efficiency; not strong; weak; slight; inconsiderable; as, little attention or exertion;little effort; little care or diligence. [1913 Webster]

By sad experiment I know How little weight my words with thee can find. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

6. Small in extent of views or sympathies; narrow; shallow; contracted; mean; illiberal; ungenerous. [1913 Webster]

The long-necked geese of the world that are ever hissing dispraise, Because their natures are little. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster]

{Little chief}. (Zo["o]l.) See {Chief hare}.

{Little Englander}, an Englishman opposed to territorial expansion of the British Empire. See {Antiimperialism}, above. Hence:

{Little Englandism}.

{Little finger}, the fourth and smallest finger of the hand.

{Little go} (Eng. Universities), a public examination about the middle of the course, which is less strict and important than the final one; -- called also {smalls}. Cf. {Great go}, under {Great}. --Thackeray.

{Little hours} (R. C. Ch.), the offices of prime, tierce, sext, and nones. Vespers and compline are sometimes included.

{Little-neck clam}, or {Little neck} (Zo["o]l.), the quahog, or round clam.

{Little ones}, young children. [1913 Webster]

The men, and the women, and the little ones. --Deut. ii. 34. [1913 Webster]

{Little peach}, a disease of peaches in which the fruit is much dwarfed, and the leaves grow small and thin. The cause is not known.

{Little Rhod"y}, Rhode Island; -- a nickname alluding to its small size. It is the smallest State of the United States.

{Little Sisters of the Poor} (R. C. Ch.), an order of women who care for old men and women and infirm poor, for whom special houses are built. It was established at St. Servan, Britany, France, in 1840, by the Abb['e] Le Pailleur.

{Little slam} (Bridge Whist), the winning of 12 out of the 13 tricks. It counts 20 points on the honor score. Contrasted with {grand slam}. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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