From be- + little. Coined by Thomas Jefferson in 1782 in "Notes on the State of Virginia": "So far the Count de Buffon has carried this new theory of the tendency of nature to belittle her productions on this side the Atlantic."
- To knowingly say that something is smaller or less important than it actually is.
2006, Mark Steyn, chapter 9, America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It, ISBN 0895260786, page 201:
- Under the rules as understood by the New York Times, the West is free to mock and belittle its Judeo-Christian inheritance, and, likewise, the Muslim world is free to mock and belittle the West's Judeo-Christian inheritance.
to knowingly say that something is smaller or less important than it actually is