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