Exam Vocabulary and Synonyms for Small

On this page, you will find lists of words to help you expand your vocabulary related to the word ‘small’. There are nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs, so you will learn how to put stronger sentences together with more sophisticated language. Practicing forming sentences in this way is particularly good if you are preparing for exams, such as IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, SAT, LSAT, Civil Services, and Banking.

Example Sentence Showing Synonyms and Different Word Forms:

The error was miniscule (adjective) in the large scheme of things, but it still looked unprofessional. It was a minor (adjective) oversight on the part of his Line Manager, so the CEO was only slightly (adverb) upset. He warned his staff to keep an eye on the minutiae (noun) in future.





In this column, you will find words that you will come across in everyday English, and which are even suitable for exams like IELTS or TOEFL.

*An asterisk means that this word is less popular in everyday English than the other words in the list. These words may also be asked in some simpler exams.

In this column, you will find words that are likely to be asked in more Advanced Exams, such as GRE, MBA, SAT/LSAT, Civil Service, Banks, etc.


Some Nouns for Something Small

(e.g. examine the minutiae; we need to get down to the nitty-gritty)



The model town was full of miniatures of the people who lived there.

We need to focus on the minutiae(small details)

The boy was so small and skinny that the bullies called him a runt.

Okay, everyone, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty… (small details)


Some Adjectives for Describing Something As Small

(e.g. a tiny amount of something; they won by a narrow margin; she has a petite figure)



I only made a tiny mistake. It didn’t really matter.

He was a man of diminutive stature, but he had a reputation that made him seem bigger.

It was just a teeny error, but it was significant in the long run.

The loss in profits was negligible. We hardly noticed it.

He was a puny little thing, but he wanted to get stronger.

I love my little dog. He’s so cute!

She had very short legs, so she couldn’t even see over the counter.

I opted for a lesser amount when I couldn’t get any more.

They won the competition by a narrow margin. It was a close call!

He had to work two jobs to boost his meagre income.

The coin was a limited edition release. Only 500 were made.

There was a slight increase in profits last year.

It was a modest dwelling, but it had everything they needed to live happily.

The girl was slim and petite.

We encountered a minor hiccup during the validation process.

The family were forced to live in cramped conditions.

The crossbreeding produced a litter of undersized pups which would need a lot of care to survive.

She wore a mini-skirt back in the '60s.

There was a microscopic amount of dust on the man’s shirt, but he was convinced everyone could see it!

It was not an inconsiderable amount at all. It was quite a lot.

The changes in the new operating system were insignificant. We hardly even noticed the difference!

We planted a miniature garden for the kids. We even put little models of houses in it.

The scientists were delighted to discover even a minuscule/miniscule* fragment of meteorite in the barren landscape.

*This is a newer spelling, which some people consider incorrect.

I’m sick of listening to you complain. Your problems are trivial compared to mine!

There is scant difference between ‘scant’ and ‘scanty’. They almost mean the same thing.

There was a scanty amount of food delivered to the hotel. The staff just hoped their guests wouldn’t eat much.

There was a pitiful amount of money left in the company account, so they couldn’t pay any of their bills.

There was minimal difference between the two candidates, but we could only choose one.

*The family were so poor that they only had a paltry serving of food.





Adverbs for Describing How Small Something Is

(e.g. it was slightly embarrassing; the girl was very scantily dressed; he was modestly compensated for the inconvenience)



They were slightly distracted, so they didn’t perform well during their exam.

She was very scantily dressed, which some of the men found distracting.

Our profits have been increasing modestly in recent years. We haven’t made a fortune, but we’re heading in the right direction.

We only narrowly avoided losing everything.




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