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


Mrs. Rushton was pleased with this mark of attention, and after a slight demur, accepted.

"He was probably afraid to tell you," said Halbert, with a slight sneer.

A free ticket was given to Robert in return for some slight service.

Celine stared, resting no slight weight on the hot flat-iron.

Robert glanced at Halbert's figure, slight compared with his own, and laughed.

I will drop you a slight hint, which you had better bear in mind.

She was almost in; it was only a slight dizziness, yet she could not see the light-house.

Yet the effort she made, and with success, to restrain the show of her anger, was far from slight.

For the first time, Mary was moved to the display of a slight confusion.

A slight noise had caught his ear, he had stooped, listening.


early 14c., "flat, smooth; hairless," probably from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse slettr "smooth, sleek," from Proto-Germanic *slikhtaz (cf. Old Saxon slicht; Low German slicht "smooth, plain common;" Old English -sliht "level," attested in eorðslihtes "level with the ground;" Old Frisian sliucht "smooth, slight," Middle Dutch sleht "even, plain," Old High German sleht, Gothic slaihts "smooth"), probably from a collateral form of PIE *sleig- "to smooth, glide, be muddy," from root *(s)lei- "slimy" (see slime (n.)).

Sense evolution probably is from "smooth" (c.1300), to "slim, slender; of light texture," hence "not good or strong; insubstantial, trifling, inferior, insignificant" (early 14c.). Meaning "small in amount" is from 1520s. Sense of German cognate schlecht developed from "smooth, plain, simple" to "bad, mean, base," and as it did it was replaced in the original senses by schlicht, a back-formation from schlichten "to smooth, to plane," a derivative of schlecht in the old sense [Klein].


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