Meaning of DIMINUTIVE in English


I. də̇ˈminyəd.]iv, -yət] noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English diminutif, from Late Latin diminutivum, alteration (influenced by Latin diminuere ) of deminutivum, from deminutivus, adjective, from Latin deminutus + -ivus -ive

1. : a diminutive word or affix

Jeanie is a diminutive of Jean

2. heraldry : any of several ordinaries corresponding in characteristic shape and position in the shield with other ordinaries which are greater in width

the bendlet is a diminutive of the bend, being one half its width

3. : a diminutive object or individual : a small variety or replica

such water flies, diminutives of nature — Shakespeare

II. adjective

Etymology: Middle French diminutif, from Late Latin diminutivus, alteration (influenced by Latin diminuere ) of deminutivus

1. : indicating small size and sometimes the quality or condition of being loved, lovable, pitiable, or contemptible — used of affixes (as -ette, -ie, -kin, -let, -ling, -y ) and of words formed with them (as kitchenette, Jeanie, lambkin, streamlet, witling, sonny ); contrasted with augmentative

2. : small especially in size : tiny

all was on a diminutive scale, like a doll's house

diminutive in stature

3. archaic : diminishing or tending to diminish ; also : disparaging

Synonyms: see small

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.