Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


None of us knew the littlest bit about what a robot can or cannot do.

So they say that is all that is left of Waziya now, just the littlest child.

Betty, the littlest girl, began to cry—two ran down her cheeks.

It is specially easy, in such a large family, to overlook the littlest.

And he was actually34 glad, for once, that he was the littlest of the family.

“With the littlest good-will in the world, I promise you,” she answered.

Personally I would not lift my littlest finger to help this scheme.

I shall give Ben one of my kitties—the littlest and the best!

That big one is Norah, and the one in blue is Rachel, and the littlest is named Kathleen.

One day last January the three biggest had a fuss with the three littlest.


Old English lytel "not large, not much; short in distance or time; unimportant," also used in late Old English as a noun, "small piece; a short time," from West Germanic *lutilla- (cf. Old Saxon luttil, Dutch luttel, Old High German luzzil, German lützel, Gothic leitils "little"), perhaps originally a diminutive of the root of Old English lyt "little, few," from PIE *leud- "small." "Often synonymous with small, but capable of emotional implications which small is not" [OED].

Phrase the little woman "wife" attested from 1795. Little people "the faeries" is from 1726; as "children," it is attested from 1752; as "ordinary people" (opposed to the great), it is attested from 1827. Little Neck clams (1884) are so called for Little Neck, Long Island, a "neck" of land on the island's North Shore. Little by little is from late 15c. (litylle be litille). Little green men "space aliens" is from 1950. Little black dress is from 1939.

Little Orphan Annie originally was (as Little Orphant Annie) the character in James Whitcomb Riley's 1885 poem, originally titled "Elf Child." The U.S. newspaper comic strip created by Harold Gray (1894-1968) debuted in 1924 in the New York "Daily News."



Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.