little - definition and synonyms

adverb, determiner, pronoun 

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Little can be used in the following ways:
as a determiner (followed by a noun): There’s little time left.Little progress has been made.
as a pronoun: They have very little, but what they have, they share. (after ‘a’): Yes, I’d like some tea – but just a little. (followed by ‘of’): Little of the original building has survived.Can I take a little of this sugar? (after ‘the’): The little I know won’t be of much use to you.
as an adverb: I go there very little.I’m little affected by the cold. (after ‘a’): He talked a little about his childhood.
  1. 1
    used for referring to an extremely small amount of something

    There is little time to prepare for the exams.

    Little has been revealed about his background.

    She has done little today besides sleep.

    too little:

    There was too much rain and too little sun.

    very little:

    He’s an excellent manager, so there’s very little tension in the office.

    so little:

    I’ve got so much to do and so little time to do it in.

    little or no:

    She had trained herself to show little or no emotion, whatever happened.

    little of:

    Jordan has lost little of his Irish accent.

    as little as possible:

    He always tries to pay the workers as little as possible.

    the little:

    He didn’t earn much money, and he gambled away the little he had saved.

  2. 2
    not very often, or only to a small degree
    very little:

    In her last years I saw her very little.

    Our relationship has changed very little over the years.

    as little as possible:

    They spoke of him as little as possible.

    little known (=not known by many people):

    Kang was little known outside of China.

    little more/better:

    You accused me of being little better than a thief (=almost as bad as a thief).