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Definition of "diminutive" []

  • Extremely small in size; tiny. See Synonyms at small. (adjective)
  • Grammar Of or being a suffix that indicates smallness or, by semantic extension, qualities such as youth, familiarity, affection, or contempt, as -let in booklet, -kin in lambkin, or -et in nymphet. (adjective)
  • Grammar A diminutive suffix, word, or name. (noun)
  • A very small person or thing. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "diminutive" in a sentence
  • "“Too bad we have no salted herring for a chaser,” says Semyon, using the diminutive selyodochka."
  • "At the present day the pyx when carried secretly to the sick, as is the case in most Protestant and many Catholic countries, is generally carried in a burse or pyx-bag, i.e. a silken bag suspended round the priest's neck within which the pyx is wrapped in a diminutive corporal used for that purpose."
  • "Mamochka, as my mother used to call her, the diminutive of mama— a plain, non-endearing form I use to address my own mother."