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diminutive

adjective

Definition: very small

Synonyms: tiny, miniature, little, mini

Antonyms: giant, colossal, enormous

Tips: Diminutive comes from the Latin word minuere, "to lessen," from which we also get our modern word miniature; both words mean "very small." The related noun diminution refers to a reduction or lessening which makes something smaller. Diminutive also denotes a nickname or pet name. (Ricky is the diminutive of Rick or Richard.)

Usage Examples:

The diminution in our food supply made me worry that we would run out before the end of the trip. (lessening) noun

Bobby tripped and fell on one of Susie's diminutive toy cars, which were scattered across the floor. (tiny, miniature)

Because he was very tall, Greg could not easily fit into the diminutive convertible. (mini, tiny)

I know when she wants to soften me up to do her a favor, because she usually uses the diminutive of my name. (nickname, short version)


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