(littler or less or lesser; littlest or least)
Etymology: Middle English littel, from Old English lȳtel; akin to Old High German luzzil little
Date: before 12th century
1. not big: as
a. small in size or extent ; tiny <has little feet> b. young <was too little to remember> c. of a plant or animal small in comparison with related forms — used in vernacular names d. having few members or inhabitants <a little group> <little towns> e. small in condition, distinction, or scope <big business trampling on the little fellow> f. narrow, mean <the pettiness of little minds> g. pleasingly small <a cute little thing> h. — used as an intensive <why, you little devil!> 2. not much: as a. existing only in a small amount or to a slight degree <has little money> b. short in duration ; brief c. existing to an appreciable though not extensive degree or amount — used with a <had a little money in the bank> 3. small in importance or interest ; trivial Synonyms: see small • littleness noun II. adverb (less; least) Date: before 12th century 1. a. in only a small quantity or degree ; slightly <facts that were little known at the time> b. not at all <cared little for their neighbors> 2. rarely, infrequently III. noun Date: before 12th century 1. a small amount, quantity, or degree; also practically nothing <little has changed> 2. a. a short time b. a short distance
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.