English Edit

Etymology Edit

From a + mite (minute arachnid of the order Acarina; anything very small, a minute object, a very little quantity or particle).

Pronunciation Edit

Adverb Edit

a mite (not comparable)

  1. (informal) To a small extent; in a small amount; rather.
    Synonyms: a bit, a little, a little bit, a tad, a smidgen
    Antonym: a lot
    • [1870], [Frederick William Robinson], “The Young Guardian”, in Owen:—A Waif (Select Library of Fiction), new edition, London: Chapman and Hall, [], →OCLC, book III (Battle-ground), page 117:
      "I hope Mary has been the best of girls?" / "The bestest little girl, Sir—a mite too lively, perhaps, especially when she hears you're coming to see her, [].["]
    • 1956, Janice Holt Giles, chapter 8, in Hannah Fowler, Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin, →OCLC; republished Lexington, Ky.: University Press of Kentucky, 1992, →ISBN, page 69:
      "Silas, now," Esther Whitley had said, "would be a good one for you, Hannah. He's a mite on the old side, but he's steady, an' he's been wed before. He knows the ways of a woman better'n some."
    • 1959, Frances Cavanah, Abe Lincoln Gets His Chance, Chicago, Ill.: Rand McNally, →OCLC; Abe Lincoln Gets His Chance (ReadHowYouWant Classics Library), EasyRead large edition, U.S.A.: ReadHowYouWant, 2008, →ISBN, page 30:
      Those trousers are a mite too big, but you'll soon grow into them.
    • 2018 November 29, Brian Taylor, “Brexit and sellers of fish”, in BBC News[1], archived from the original on 26 June 2019:
      Words, words, words, bemoans Hamlet, in conversation with the garrulous but inconsequential Polonius, whom he labels a "seller of fish". Given that the Prince of Denmark is himself legendary for vacillation and inaction, this always seemed a mite cheeky to me.
    • 2022 October 4, Jason Zinoman, “The ’90s Cartoon That Mattered? ‘Beavis and Butt-Head.’ (Fight Me.)”, in The New York Times[2], →ISSN:
      The new show’s look is a mite slicker and the comic situations are set up and executed better, including Episode 1 in which Beavis and Butt-Head mistake an escape room’s bathroom for the place they need to escape.
    • 2023 May 13, John Naughton, “A moment’s silence, please, for the death of Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse”, in The Observer[3], →ISSN:
      In those circumstances, you’d have thought someone who had just blown $36bn of his company’s money in the pursuit of a personal obsession would have been a mite apologetic, wouldn’t you?

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