小さい

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Japanese[edit]

See also 小さな
Kanji in this term
ちい
Grade: 1
kun'yomi

Etymology[edit]

/tipisasi//tifisasi//t͡ɕihisaɕi//t͡ɕiːsaɕi//t͡ɕiːsai/

Ultimate derivation uncertain.

The initial chi element appears in other words with similar meanings of small, such as ちょっと ‎(chotto, a little bit, adverb), from ちっと ‎(chitto), from even earlier ちと ‎(chito).

Possibly related to ちび ‎(chibi, small and round, often with overtones of cuteness), itself apparently derived from ‎(tsubu, small round thing, such as a grain of rice).[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

小さい ‎(-i inflection, hiragana ちいさい, romaji chīsai, historical hiragana ちひさい)

  1. (of size or amount) small, little, tiny
    • 1906, Natsume Sōseki, Botchan, text here:
      教師 (きょうし)二人 (ふたり)だ。 (おお)きい (やつ)と、 (ちい)さい (やつ)だ。
      Kyōshi wa futari da. Ōkii yatsu to, chīsai yatsu da.
      There were two teachers. A big one, and a little one.
  2. (of age) young, little

Usage notes[edit]

As an adjective directly modifying a noun, may be used largely interchangeably with 小さな ‎(chīsana), the -na adjective form. In predicative use, only 小さい (chīsai) may be used: あれ*小さ (are wa *chīsa da) is incorrect grammar.

Inflection[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  2. ^ 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, ISBN 4-385-13905-9
  3. ^ 1998, NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 (NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: NHK, ISBN 978-4-14-011112-3