a little

a lit·tle
A a


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [ey lit-l]
    • /eɪ ˈlɪt l/
    • /ə ˈlɪtl/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [ey lit-l]
    • /eɪ ˈlɪt l/

Definitions of a little words

  • adjective a little small in size; not big; not large; tiny: a little desk in the corner of the room. 1
  • adjective a little short in duration; not extensive; short; brief: a little while. 1
  • adjective a little small in number: a little group of scientists. 1
  • adjective a little small in amount or degree; not much: little hope. 1
  • adjective a little of a certain amount; appreciable (usually preceded by a): We're having a little difficulty. 1
  • adjective a little being such on a small scale: little farmers. 1

Information block about the term

Origin of a little

First appearance:

before 900
One of the 4% oldest English words
before 900; Middle English, Old English lȳtel (lȳt few, small + -el diminutive suffix), cognate with Dutch luttel, Old High German luzzil, Old Norse lītill

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for A little


a little popularity

A common word. It’s meaning is known to most children of preschool age. About 99% of English native speakers know the meaning and use the word.
Most Europeans know this English word. The frequency of it’s usage is somewhere between "mom" and "screwdriver".

a little usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

Synonyms for a little

determiner a little

  • all — You use all to indicate that you are referring to the whole of a particular group or thing or to everyone or everything of a particular kind.
  • several — being more than two but fewer than many in number or kind: several ways of doing it.
  • each — every one of two or more considered individually or one by one: each stone in a building; a hallway with a door at each end.
  • whatever — in any amount; to any extent: whatever merit the work has.
  • a bit — A bit of something is a small amount of it.

adv a little

  • barely — You use barely to say that something is only just true or only just the case.
  • seldom — on only a few occasions; rarely; infrequently; not often: We seldom see our old neighbors anymore.
  • rarely — on rare occasions; infrequently; seldom: I'm rarely late for appointments.
  • hardly — only just; almost not; barely: We had hardly reached the lake when it started raining. hardly any; hardly ever.
  • scarcely — barely; hardly; not quite: The light is so dim we can scarcely see.

adj a little

  • any — You use any in statements with negative meaning to indicate that no thing or person of a particular type exists, is present, or is involved in a situation.
  • a few — small number of
  • few — not many but more than one: Few artists live luxuriously.

Antonyms for a little

adv a little

  • frequently — often; many times; at short intervals.
  • more — Mossi (def 2).
  • much — great in quantity, measure, or degree: too much cake.
  • immoderate — not moderate; exceeding just or reasonable limits; excessive; extreme.
  • unlimitedly — not limited; unrestricted; unconfined: unlimited trade.

See also

Matching words

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