Definition of Lilliputian in English:



  • Trivial or very small.

    ‘America's banks look Lilliputian in comparison with Japan's’
    • ‘A little clay pot of lentils arrived, topped with a Lilliputian quail egg and shavings of black truffles.’
    • ‘Mine was overseasoned and served in a Lilliputian portion.’
    • ‘While Ernst Janning was in the dock on Broadway, in early April, a different kind of trial was underway in a Lilliputian theater next to a comedy club, about two miles uptown.’
    • ‘The invasion of the Congo by these Lilliputian states would have been unthinkable under normal circumstances, with a responsible government and functioning state institutions.’
    • ‘Also known as the Mighty Midget and The Bullet (because of his lightning passes), Owen looked like a scrawny man-boy but no-one took advantage of his Lilliputian build.’
    • ‘Rather than drag out a seductive melody until it eventually becomes tawdry, the longest song on Be With is a Lilliputian four minutes.’
    • ‘The experience was something like finding oneself shrunk to Lilliputian proportions and forced to live in a jewel-casket.’
    • ‘Nonetheless, he was a giant in his times, and we need a few in today's Lilliputian scene.’
    • ‘Only the most Lilliputian of political outlooks could consider these kind of pettifogging government measures ‘bold and far-reaching’.’
    • ‘Ultimately, the only way this Lilliputian economy could grow was via exports.’
    • ‘The following morning, breakfast is waiting downstairs on the magnificent Nordlysid - a wooden, two-masted sloop moored next to fishing boats in the Lilliputian harbour.’
    • ‘When Thomas came in the league, Lilliputian linebackers still carried a stigma, even though it was slowly fading.’
    • ‘They feel like Gulliver, tied down with the guy-ropes of Lilliputian countries they thought were their friends.’
    • ‘But this Lilliputian stream was not the river we sought.’
    • ‘Other bargains abound, including minidisc players for £120 and Lilliputian MP3 portables for £200 notes.’
    • ‘Back outside, tiny Icelandic ponies were prancing around the ring, their riders holding aloft banners like some form of Lilliputian cavalry charge.’
    • ‘The sculptor's Lilliputian alter ego was evidently having trouble staying organized.’
    • ‘It wasn't a problem that they were fearsomely hot, but the fact that the Lilliputian prawns dotting the dish were supposed to be tiger prawns was an issue.’
    • ‘Who on earth would be able to fit in that Lilliputian getup?’
    • ‘It was a radical move from a First Minister derided by many as a leader of Lilliputian vision.’
    minute, small-scale, scaled-down, mini, baby, toy, pocket, fun-size, petite, dwarfish, knee-high, miniature, minuscule, microscopic, nanoscopic, infinitesimal, micro, diminutive, pocket-sized, reduced
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  • A trivial or very small person or thing.

    • ‘When they stood next to each other at a media event, Ruiz made Jones look downright Lilliputian.’
    • ‘Being a Lilliputian in the world of creative writing research, he wanted to tie down the whole Australian industry and claim it for his own.’
    • ‘Footling left-wing Lilliputians have failed to contest this shift, occasionally making things worse.’
    • ‘The terms of access to the U.S. market are now to be decided in Geneva by Lilliputians of the New World Order.’
    • ‘Who wants to be an ungrateful, unprincipled, two-faced, pacifist, Euro-grasping, oil-hungry Lilliputian?’
    • ‘His disdain for the arrogance, self-importance and belligerence of men of virtue left us with the term Lilliputian, for high-minded people with essentially trivial, self-serving aims.’
    • ‘Until the contest with Blackburn is resumed, one of Scotland's two Goliaths will be back bossing the Lilliputians around.’


Early 18th century: from the imaginary country of Lilliput in Swift's Gulliver's Travels, inhabited by people 6 inches (15 cm) high, + -ian.