From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishsmallsmall1 /smɔːl $ smɒːl/ ●●● S1 W1 adjective (comparative smaller, superlative smallest) 1 sizeSMALLSHORT PERSON not large in size or amount a small piece of paper a small car a small town a small dark woman The T-shirt was too small for him. The sweater comes in three sizes – small, medium, and large. Only a relatively small number of people were affected. a small amount of money A much smaller proportion of women are employed in senior positions.► see thesaurus at short2 not importantUNIMPORTANT a small problem, job, mistake etc is not important or does not have a large effect syn minor We may have to make a few small changes. There’s been a small problem. There’s only a small difference between them. It was good to feel we had helped in some small way.3 → no small degree/achievement/task etc4 youngYOUNG a small child is young She has three small children. I’ve known him since he was a small boy.► see thesaurus at young5 → small business/firm/farmer etc6 letterSLA small letters are letters in the form a, b, c etc rather than A, B, C etc syn lower case opp capital7 → conservative with a small ‘c’/democrat with a small ‘d’ etc8 voiceQUIET a small voice is quiet and soft ‘What about me?’ she asked in a small voice.9 → look/feel small10 → (it’s a) small world11 → a small fortune12 → small change13 → be thankful/grateful for small mercies/favours14 → the small hours15 → small arms16 → something is small potatoes —small adverb He writes so small I can’t read it. —smallness noun [uncountable]THESAURUSsmall not large in size, amount, or effecta small boatsmall businessesa small amount of moneysmall changeslittle [usually before noun] small – used about objects, places, and living things. Used especially with other adjectives to show how you feel about someone or somethingIt’s a very pretty little town.The poor little dog has hurt its leg.The cake was decorated with little flowers.low used about prices, rents, levels, or standardsPeople on low incomes are finding it difficult to pay fuel bills.The crime rate in the area is relatively low.slight [usually before noun] small and not very important or not very noticeablea slight problemThere’s been a slight improvement in his health.a slight increase in salesminor small and not important or not seriousminor injuriesWe’ve made some minor changes to the program.compact small – used about places, buildings etc in which space is used effectively, or about phones, cameras, cars etc which are designed to be much smaller than usualThe apartments are very compact.a compact cameraIt is a pleasant and compact city.poky especially British English used about a room, house etc that is too smalla poky bedrooma poky flatcramped used about a space, room, or vehicle that is too small because people do not have enough room to move aroundThey all lived together in a cramped apartment.The car feels cramped with four adults in it.very smalltiny very small – used about objects, numbers, or amountsa tiny islandDairy foods provide your body with a tiny amount of vitamin D.teeny informal very small – used for emphasisI’ll just have a teeny bit of cream.There’s just one teeny little problem.a teeny little houseminute /maɪˈnjuːt $ -ˈnuːt/ extremely small and extremely difficult to see or noticeThey found minute traces of poison in his body.The differences are minute.minute creaturesminiature a miniature camera, watch, railway etc is made in a very small size. A miniature horse, dog etc is bred to be a very small sizeThe spy used a miniature camera.the fashion for miniature pets microscopic extremely small and impossible to see without special equipmentmicroscopic organismsmicroscopic particles of dustminuscule /ˈmɪnəskjuːl/ extremely small in a surprising wayShe was wearing a minuscule bikini.The threat from terrorism is minuscule compared to other risks in our lives.itty-bitty/itsy-bitsy [only before noun] American English informal very smallAn itty-bitty little bug crawled across his forehead. We stayed at some itty-bitty hotel in a back street. If there is more than one adjective, the adjectives are usually used in a fixed order. You say: They live in a nice small town. ✗Don’t say: They live in a small nice town.You say: She had a small white dog. ✗Don’t say: She had a white small dog.
Examples from the Corpussmall• The level of radiation in the atmosphere is really very small.• Mrs Newman was a small and slightly plump, with a round face.• My sister's quite a bit smaller and slimmer than me.• It is important to use small bags, since a large number of acorns together will generate heat.• On the mainland, the small beaches were faintly visible, the surf like a tiny ruffle of white lace.• He took it into a small booth under the stairs which evidently served him as darkroom.• People are buying smaller cars because they are cheaper to run.• Smaller cars use less gas.• I've got a small cassette.• I want to make a few small changes to the design.• Be aware that women and small children, as well as men, can be pickpockets.• Highly suitable for a small children's collection with modest funds for annual updating of stock. 8.• She soon discovered that looking after small children was very tiring.• Private schools can offer smaller classes and more individual attention.• But smaller deficits brought on either by spending cuts or higher taxes reduce purchasing power.• Government statistics showed a small drop in the annual rate of inflation.• Bobby's small for his age, but he's perfectly healthy.• a small increase in food prices• a small man in a dark suit• How come I always seem to go out with small men?• Wonford House was a smaller, more modern, hospital.• Only a small number of people eventually turned up.• A small number of protesters stood near the entrance to the plant.• His office was a small room at the top of the building.• Rhode Island is the smallest state in the nation.• The kids were too small to really understand.• "It still hurts, " he said in a small voice.• Leonora had small, well-shaped hands and clasped his warmly.smaller proportion• A slightly smaller proportion need shopping help, but only 9 percent receive this type of assistance.• A smaller proportion of fruit is available in winter, however.• Lone parents have much smaller proportions of household heads in the labour market than two parent families.• Such a tax takes a smaller and smaller proportion of income as income increases.• Their short-term assets form a much smaller proportion of the total.• The reverse is true for men, however, with a smaller proportion of working-class men marrying than their upper-class contemporaries.• Girls sniff too, although, perhaps a slightly smaller proportion than boys.