a little

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a little (not comparable)

  1. To a small extent or degree.
    Synonyms: a bit, a little bit
    Antonym: a lot
    The door was opened a little.
    • 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], chapter II, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., [], →OCLC:
      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”, in Duck Tales:
      Scrooge McDuck "A little salty."
      Zeus "Dip not good enough for you mortal? You offend Olympus!"
  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. 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.