Adjective "Diminutive" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Extremely or unusually small.
  1. 'A diminutive figure in black, she nodded and smiled gently at the crowd.'
  2. 'A diminutive figure loiters at the back of the gallery.'
  3. 'The mammoth and the sabre-toothed tiger may have long since passed into the palaeontology history books but one of their contemporaries, a diminutive snail, is clinging to existence in Yorkshire.'
  4. 'Bass from the subwoofer is powerful enough to put the boom into explosive cinematic action, while CDs or MP3s played through the diminutive unit sound clear and subtle - a neat trick for a player at this price.'
  5. 'Chinese elm has been a popular tree for small gardens because of its diminutive proportions and pleasant rounded canopy, but again, seeding can be a problem.'
  6. 'As they approached, the blast doors opened, revealing a diminutive figure clothed in a heavy, light blue smock.'
  7. 'But even these diminutive numbers tend to belie the extremely small spaces into which a ferret can fit.'
  8. 'The diminutive mother sat protectively on a neighboring branch but did not interfere allowing the woman to produce one of the most charming sequences of wildlife photos I've ever seen.'
  9. 'She was of diminutive size and delicate health; she was pretty and clever and talented.'
  10. 'But while she is no softie and revels in a little rough-and-tumble now and again, her diminutive figure belies the true extent of her football potential.'
  11. 'All these years, he has kept the diminutive name that his friends in the struggle gave him: Kecik, meaning small in the East Javanese dialect.'
  12. 'Here, he seems to agree with him on the correct spelling of diminutive forms.'
  13. 'His insistent sexual attentions and diminutive pet names become less and less appropriate to the role she is now playing, and her self-image finally comes apart from the one her husband wants to impose on her.'
  14. 'Ke is a diminutive suffix, conveying the sense of little in reference to the size of the dog.'
  15. 'The word alone, derived from a diminutive form of the Dutch name for cucumber, is enough to endear this crunchy pickle to anyone.'
  16. 'Apparently the name Merkin comes from a diminutive form of Matilda.'
  17. 'On the other hand, the diminutive title slightly misleads.'


A diminutive word or suffix.
  1. 'The word is a diminutive of inland navigator, referring to the men who built the canals that preceded the railways.'
  2. 'The diminutives did not change the meaning but rather the function.'
  3. 'Such diminutives, in varied forms, are very commonly found in Indian languages.'
  4. 'Of course, traditionally, as young unmarried women, they would have been called Fräulein, where the ending - lein is diminutive.'
  5. 'Lithuanian often makes use of diminutives to soften the connotation of words or make them more personal.'
  6. 'The earliest were over 20 cm in height, and the Italian diminutive refers to the reduced measurement of 14 cm, introduced when the first public opera houses opened in Venice.'
  7. 'The use of diminutives and nicknames were quite apparent in her teachertalk as well.'
  8. 'It is hardly surprising therefore that the Arabic word for ‘garden’ should be the diminutive of the word for ‘Paradise’.'
  9. 'Brazilians are much more affectionate to their attacking players, so of course they will address them more affectionately - with nicknames and diminutives.'
  10. 'Relationships between same-sex friends and family members are characterized by a high degree of intimacy, body contact and the use of affectionate diminutives.'
  11. 'I'm male and go by the Russian diminutive of my legal name, Sasha.'
  12. 'I believe that Liz, simply as the diminutive of the name Elizabeth, has been suggested as the most likely source of the rock's name.'
  13. 'It is the diminutive of the name given me by your great-great-grandmother.'
  14. 'You look it up in your book of babies' names: Sasha is a Russian diminutive of Alexandra.'
  15. 'The bones were found at Tio Gregorio - and the Spanish diminutive for Gregorio is Goya.'
  16. 'Children sometimes are called by diminutives of their names.'


1. small; little; tiny: a diminutive building for a model-train layout.

2. Grammar. pertaining to or productive of a form denoting smallness, familiarity, affection, or triviality, as the suffix -let, in droplet from drop. noun

3. a small thing or person.

4. Grammar. a diminutive element or formation.

5. Heraldry. a charge, as an ordinary, smaller in length or breadth than the usual.

More examples(as adjective)

"sizes can be diminutive."

"figures can be diminutive."

"seaters can be diminutive."

"patriarchs can be diminutive."

"nuns can be diminutive."

More examples++


Late Middle English (as a grammatical term): from Old French diminutif, -ive, from late Latin diminutivus, from Latin deminut- ‘diminished’, from the verb deminuere (see diminish).