27 Idioms for Small: Miniature Expressions


Idioms are like secret codes within a language. They convey meanings that go beyond the literal interpretation of their words.

These expressions use the concept of smallness to paint vivid pictures and convey various ideas, from insignificance to attention to detail.

Small is like a pebble on a vast beach, easily overlooked but still carrying the weight of its unique presence. For more comparisons to describe something as small, you can check this link: Similes for small. And for a variety of metaphors related to smallness, you can explore this link: Metaphors for small.

What is an Idiom for Small?

Idioms for small are phrases or expressions that use the concept of smallness or size to convey certain ideas, feelings, or situations.


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Created by Dr. Julia Rossi

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1 / 20

What is a simile?

2 / 20

Identify the simile in the following sentence: “She swims like a fish.”

3 / 20

What is a metaphor?

4 / 20

Which of the following is a metaphor?

5 / 20

What is an idiom?

6 / 20

What does the idiom “break the ice” mean?

7 / 20

What is an adjective?

8 / 20

Choose the adjective in the following sentence: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

9 / 20

What is an abbreviation?

10 / 20

What does the abbreviation “e.g.” stand for?

11 / 20

What is a verb?

12 / 20

Identify the verb in the following sentence: “The cat sleeps on the sofa.”

13 / 20

“Out of the frying pan into the fire” is an example of:

14 / 20

Which of the following is an adjective?

15 / 20

The abbreviation “NASA” stands for:

16 / 20

Choose the metaphor in the following sentence: “Time is a thief.”

17 / 20

What does the idiom “hit the books” mean?

18 / 20

Which of the following sentences contains a simile?

19 / 20

“LOL” is an abbreviation for:

20 / 20

Identify the verb in this sentence: “They whispered secrets into the night.”

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These idioms often provide colorful and imaginative ways to express everyday situations and emotions. They are like tiny windows into the rich tapestry of the English language.

Now, let’s explore the meanings and usage of these idiomatic expressions, one by one.

IdiomMeaningExample Sentence
A Drop in the BucketSomething tiny or insignificant in comparison to a larger whole.The money I donated to the charity was just a drop in the bucket compared to what they needed.
A Dime a DozenSomething very common or easy to find.In this digital age, smartphone apps are a dime a dozen; you can find them everywhere.
A Wee BitA very small amount or quantity.Can you please add just a wee bit of sugar to my coffee? I don’t like it too sweet.
A Little Bird Told MeInformation attributed to an anonymous or unidentified source.A little bird told me that there’s a surprise party planned for your birthday.
Bite-SizedSomething small and easy to manage or consume.These bite-sized snacks are perfect for parties; guests can enjoy them without making a mess.
Butterflies in My StomachNervousness or anxiety, often before a significant event.Before giving my speech, I had butterflies in my stomach, but I managed to calm down.
Cut from the Same ClothTwo or more people very similar in character, behavior, or beliefs.The twins are cut from the same cloth; they share the same interests and values.
Don’t Sweat the Small StuffAdvice not to worry about minor or insignificant details.When planning a party, remember not to sweat the small stuff; the most important thing is to have fun.
In a NutshellTo summarize something briefly and concisely.To put it in a nutshell, the project is behind schedule, and we need to catch up.
It’s a Small WorldExpressing surprise at how interconnected and small the world can seem, especially when encountering familiar people or situations unexpectedly.Running into an old friend in a foreign country reminded me that it’s a small world after all.
Itty-BittySomething extremely tiny or very small in size.Look at that itty-bitty kitten; it’s the tiniest one in the litter.
Like Finding a Needle in a HaystackDescribing a task or search that is very challenging due to the overwhelming amount of irrelevant information or options.Trying to find my lost earring in the grass was like finding a needle in a haystack; it took hours.
Little by LittleDescribing gradual progress or improvement over time.By studying little by little each day, she was able to improve her language skills.
Little Fish in a Big PondSomeone or something insignificant or unimportant in a larger or more competitive environment.As a new employee in the multinational corporation, she felt like a little fish in a big pond.
Not Worth a Hill of BeansSomething or someone of little or no value or importance.His broken antique vase turned out not to be worth a hill of beans; it was a replica.
Only a FractionA very small portion or part of a whole.She ate only a fraction of the cake; it was too big for her to finish.
Penny-Wise and Pound-FoolishSomeone careful with small expenses but wasteful with larger ones.He saved money by buying the cheaper car, but it constantly needed repairs; he was being penny-wise and pound-foolish.
Small FrySomeone or something unimportant or of little significance.Don’t worry about those small fry; focus on the bigger issues at hand.
Small PotatoesSomething trivial or unimportant.Compared to the major challenges we face, this issue is small potatoes and can be easily resolved.
Smaller Fish to FryIndicating that there are more important or pressing matters to attend to.We can deal with this minor issue later; right now, we have smaller fish to fry.
The Devil is in the DetailsEmphasizing the importance of paying attention to the small and often overlooked aspects of a task or situation.When designing a website, remember that the devil is in the details; even minor errors can affect user experience.
The Straw That Broke the Camel’s BackA small or seemingly insignificant event that triggers a larger, negative consequence.Her late arrival at work was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and she was reprimanded by her boss.
Tip of the IcebergA small or visible part of a much larger issue or problem.The financial losses we’ve incurred so far are just the tip of the iceberg; there are deeper issues we need to address.
Two Peas in a PodTwo people who are very similar or have a close relationship.They’re like two peas in a pod; they share the same interests and even finish each other’s sentences.
Wee HoursThe early hours of the morning, typically after midnight.They stayed up talking until the wee hours, discussing their plans for the future.
When Pigs FlyExtreme skepticism about the likelihood of something happening.He said he’d clean his room when pigs fly, which means he probably won’t do it.
You Can’t Judge a Book by Its CoverEmphasizing that one should not form judgments about someone or something based solely on their appearance.She may seem reserved at first, but you can’t judge a book by its cover; she’s actually very friendly.
idioms for small

Idioms for Small

1. A Drop in the Bucket

Meaning: To describe something that is tiny or insignificant compared to a larger whole.

In a Sentence: The money I donated to the charity was just a drop in the bucket compared to what they needed to fund their project.

2. A Dime a Dozen

Meaning: To refer to something that is very common or easy to find.

In a Sentence: In this digital age, smartphone apps are a dime a dozen; you can find them everywhere.

3. A Wee Bit

Meaning: To indicate a very small amount or quantity.

In a Sentence: Can you please add just a wee bit of sugar to my coffee? I don’t like it too sweet.

4. A Little Bird Told Me

Meaning: To attribute information to an anonymous or unidentified source.

In a Sentence: A little bird told me that there’s a surprise party planned for your birthday.

5. Bite-Sized

Meaning: To describe something that is small and easy to manage or consume.

In a Sentence: These bite-sized snacks are perfect for parties; guests can enjoy them without making a mess.

6. Butterflies in My Stomach

Meaning: To express nervousness or anxiety, often before a significant event.

In a Sentence: Before giving my speech, I had butterflies in my stomach, but I managed to calm down.

7. Cut from the Same Cloth

Meaning: To describe two or more people who are very similar in character, behavior, or beliefs.

In a Sentence: The twins are cut from the same cloth; they share the same interests and values.

8. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Meaning: To advise someone not to worry about minor or insignificant details.

In a Sentence: When planning a party, remember not to sweat the small stuff; the most important thing is to have fun.

9. In a Nutshell

Meaning: To summarize something briefly and concisely.

In a Sentence: To put it in a nutshell, the project is behind schedule, and we need to catch up.

10. It’s a Small World

Meaning: To express surprise at how interconnected and small the world can seem, especially when encountering familiar people or situations unexpectedly.

In a Sentence: Running into an old friend in a foreign country reminded me that it’s a small world after all.

11. Itty-Bitty

Meaning: To describe something that is extremely tiny or very small in size.

In a Sentence: Look at that itty-bitty kitten; it’s the tiniest one in the litter.

12. Like Finding a Needle in a Haystack

Meaning: To describe a task or search that is very challenging due to the overwhelming amount of irrelevant information or options.

In a Sentence: Trying to find my lost earring in the grass was like finding a needle in a haystack; it took hours.

13. Little by Little

Meaning: To describe gradual progress or improvement over time.

In a Sentence: By studying little by little each day, she was able to improve her language skills.

14. Little Fish in a Big Pond

Meaning: To describe someone or something that is insignificant or unimportant in a larger or more competitive environment.

In a Sentence: As a new employee in the multinational corporation, she felt like a little fish in a big pond.

15. Not Worth a Hill of Beans

Meaning: To describe something or someone as having little or no value or importance.

In a Sentence: His broken antique vase turned out not to be worth a hill of beans; it was a replica.

16. Only a Fraction

Meaning: To indicate a very small portion or part of a whole.

In a Sentence: She ate only a fraction of the cake; it was too big for her to finish.

17. Penny-Wise and Pound-Foolish

Meaning: To describe someone who is careful with small expenses but wasteful with larger ones.

In a Sentence: He saved money by buying the cheaper car, but it constantly needed repairs; he was being penny-wise and pound-foolish.

18. Small Fry

Meaning: To refer to someone or something unimportant or of little significance.

In a Sentence: Don’t worry about those small fry; focus on the bigger issues at hand.

19. Small Potatoes

Meaning: To describe something that is trivial or unimportant.

In a Sentence: Compared to the major challenges we face, this issue is small potatoes and can be easily resolved.

20. Smaller Fish to Fry

Meaning: To indicate that there are more important or pressing matters to attend to.

In a Sentence: We can deal with this minor issue later; right now, we have smaller fish to fry.

21. The Devil is in the Details

Meaning: To emphasize the importance of paying attention to the small and often overlooked aspects of a task or situation.

In a Sentence: When designing a website, remember that the devil is in the details; even minor errors can affect user experience.

22. The Straw That Broke the Camel’s Back

Meaning: To refer to a small or seemingly insignificant event that triggers a larger, negative consequence.

In a Sentence: Her late arrival at work was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and she was reprimanded by her boss.

23. Tip of the Iceberg

Meaning: To describe a small or visible part of a much larger issue or problem.

In a Sentence: The financial losses we’ve incurred so far are just the tip of the iceberg; there are deeper issues we need to address.

24. Two Peas in a Pod

Meaning: To describe two people who are very similar or have a close relationship.

In a Sentence: They’re like two peas in a pod; they share the same interests and even finish each other’s sentences.

25. Wee Hours

Meaning: To refer to the early hours of the morning, typically after midnight.

In a Sentence: They stayed up talking until the wee hours, discussing their plans for the future.

26. When Pigs Fly

Meaning: To express extreme skepticism about the likelihood of something happening.

In a Sentence: He said he’d clean his room when pigs fly, which means he probably won’t do it.

27. You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover

Meaning: To emphasize that one should not form judgments about someone or something based solely on their appearance.

In a Sentence: She may seem reserved at first, but you can’t judge a book by its cover; she’s actually very friendly.

Quizzes About The Idioms in The Article

Here are 10 quiz questions related to the idioms for small mentioned in the article:

Quiz 1: A Drop in the Bucket

  1. What does the idiom “a drop in the bucket” mean?
    a) A small container for carrying liquids
    b) Something tiny or insignificant compared to a larger whole
    c) A heavy rainfall

Quiz 2: A Dime a Dozen

  1. What does it mean when something is described as “a dime a dozen”?
    a) It’s extremely rare and valuable
    b) It’s very common and easy to find
    c) It’s small in size

Quiz 3: Butterflies in My Stomach

  1. When do you typically experience “butterflies in your stomach”?
    a) When you’re hungry
    b) When you’re nervous or anxious, especially before a significant event
    c) When you’re excited about a meal

Quiz 4: Cut from the Same Cloth

  1. What does it mean when two people are “cut from the same cloth”?
    a) They are skilled at sewing
    b) They have very different interests
    c) They are very similar in character, behavior, or beliefs

Quiz 5: In a Nutshell

  1. How would you use the expression “in a nutshell” in a sentence?
    a) To describe a large, complicated object
    b) To summarize something briefly and concisely
    c) To express surprise

Quiz 6: Little by Little

  1. What does the idiom “little by little” imply?
    a) Rapid progress or improvement
    b) Gradual progress or improvement over time
    c) No progress at all

Quiz 7: The Devil is in the Details

  1. What is the main message of the idiom “the devil is in the details”?
    a) Paying attention to small details is unnecessary
    b) Small details can make a big difference and should not be overlooked
    c) Small details are always negative

Quiz 8: Small Fry

  1. How would you describe someone or something referred to as “small fry”?
    a) Important and significant
    b) Unimportant and of little significance
    c) Extremely tall

Quiz 9: Two Peas in a Pod

  1. What does it mean when two people are described as “two peas in a pod”?
    a) They are very different from each other
    b) They are very similar or have a close relationship
    c) They enjoy gardening

Quiz 10: When Pigs Fly

  1. What does the idiom “when pigs fly” suggest?
    a) Something is likely to happen soon
    b) Something is highly unlikely or impossible to happen
    c) Pigs are good at flying

Answers:

  1. b) Something tiny or insignificant compared to a larger whole
  2. b) It’s very common and easy to find
  3. b) When you’re nervous or anxious, especially before a significant event
  4. c) They are very similar in character, behavior, or beliefs
  5. b) To summarize something briefly and concisely
  6. b) Gradual progress or improvement over time
  7. b) Small details can make a big difference and should not be overlooked
  8. b) Unimportant and of little significance
  9. b) They are very similar or have a close relationship
  10. b) Something is highly unlikely or impossible to happen

Conclusion

Idioms for small offer us a delightful glimpse into the richness of language. These expressions allow us to convey complex ideas and emotions through simple, everyday words and phrases.

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