a little

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a little (not comparable)

  1. To a small extent or degree.
    The door was opened a little.
    • 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], chapter II, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., [], OCLC 752825175:
      Orion hit a rabbit once; but though sore wounded it got to the bury, and, struggling in, the arrow caught the side of the hole and was drawn out. Indeed, a nail filed sharp is not of much avail as an arrowhead; you must have it barbed, and that was a little beyond our skill.
    • 2016, VOA Learning English (public domain)
      Hi, Amelia! Are you busy? — I’m a little busy.
    • 2018 "The Spear of Selene", Duck Tales
      Scrooge McDuck "A little salty."
      Zeus "Dip not good enough for you mortal? You offend Olympus!"
    Synonyms: a bit, a little bit
    Antonym: a lot
  2. Slightly.
    She's a little strange, but nice enough.
  3. (UK, meiosis) Very.
    It's a little big, don't you think?
  4. (UK, meiosis) A lot.
  5. (UK, meiosis) A lot of.
    It could do with a little work, that's for sure.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


a little

  1. A small amount of.
    A little water has spilled.
    "Would you like some water?" "Just a little, please."

Usage notes[edit]

  • A little is used only with uncountable nouns. A few or some are preferred for countable nouns.