Definition of small fry in English:

small fry

plural noun

  • 1Insignificant people or things.

    ‘high-ranking officials escaped prosecution while numerous small fry were imprisoned’
    • ‘That's trivial to giants but a major incentive for small fry.’
    • ‘For more than a decade, the small fry stayed away.’
    • ‘The U.S. expansion is what allowed small fry to get by.’
    • ‘Most of the enemies are small fry compared to the bosses.’
    • ‘But this strategy has sometimes backfired when small fry didn't play along.’
    • ‘Disproportionately geared toward catching and jailing the poor and minorities, America's war on drugs has also proven to be especially good at rounding up the small fry while letting the big fish off the hook.’
    • ‘From the way in which he deals with his clients over the phone, Stu comes across as arrogant, shrewd and terribly ambitious, pretending to be a part of the big league, when all he actually is, is small fry.’
    • ‘The trading scandal spreading through the $7 trillion industry is revealing more than just trading abuses that enriched insiders and big investors at the small fry's expense.’
    • ‘Little did Kaleb know that he, as a small fry, was going to get an ‘assistant’ in the form of Donald, his father's very own right-hand man.’
    • ‘Most of the small fry don't do investment banking business with companies, so they have less reason to placate company management with positive recommendations.’
    • ‘There is certainly no disapproval of the relationship, but then I work in an environment where there are several adulterous relationships going on and this current one is small fry!’
    • ‘The small fry battle the giants by selling ultracheap laptops’
    • ‘The top three players control less than a third of the market, with more than 200 small fry splitting the balance.’
    • ‘This gives them stock portfolio insurance, something which small fry players would obviously like to get, but can't find anyone willing to issue.’
    • ‘Even as the big guys muscle in, small fry are also proliferating.’
    • ‘The independent small fry who earn money exclusively from their advice and gold-plated connections once thrived in the lucrative merger business.’
    • ‘Otherwise however big a breed of fish we are, we fare no better than the small fry simply because we all take the bait.’
    • ‘What we did hear in the select committee was that there is a lack of interest among the law lords for sitting on the Privy Council, because as far as they are concerned it is small fry.’
    • ‘Holt was never content to stop with these small fry.’
    • ‘In the thirties Evelyn Waugh was considered small fry compared to a major writer such as Charles Morgan who means nothing to 21st century readers.’
    • ‘And that leaves the economic field open to domination by the faster growing, more ecologically destructive players - and elimination of the small fry.’
    • ‘Still, Stanley is small fry in the realm of corporate governance and executive compensation fiascos.’
    • ‘In the early eighties he was constructing a career making case, building a pyramid, tying some small fry Panamanian drug dealers to their higher ups.’
    • ‘‘He was relatively a small fry,’ says Geis, commenting on Kopper's role as the outsider.’
    • ‘Instead of one-size-fits-all, the firm will tailor investment advice to each market segment, from millionaires to small fry.’
    • ‘She was one of the youngest members in the Dance Club after all, small fry and unimportant.’
    • ‘And the small fry depend less on last-minute, high-fare business travelers who were already pulling back.’
    • ‘If they were caught, then only small fry were involved.’
    • ‘Some small fry are also being pushed into a growing throng of so-called orphans, companies for which investment banks no longer issue analysts' research although they took them public.’
    • ‘There is no way the Crown Prosecution Service can stick the loans scandal merely on the small fry.’
    • ‘Some of those companies are big fish, and others are small fry.’
    insignificant person, lightweight, mediocrity, nobody, gnat, insect, cipher
    View synonyms
  • 2Young fish, animals, or children.

    • ‘We were surrounded instead by scores of other boats, all equally idle, and the only fish I saw all day were the silvery small fry used for bait, swimming in tight circles in their holding tank.’
    • ‘Superstitious by nature, the Yamis distribute each catch according to size and color; brightly colored fish for the women, dark colored fish for the men, and small fry for the kids.’
    • ‘Scientists fear a whole generation of fish may have been wiped out as many small fry were killed.’
    • ‘Oreochromis species are mouth brooders and usually produce quite small fry batches.’
    • ‘For example, Cichlasoma nigrofasciatum and Cichlasoma citrinellum are able to discriminate their own small fry from those of other species.’
    • ‘Now researchers are wondering if the compound might also cut down on waterborne fungi that destroy catfish eggs before they can hatch into small fry.’
    • ‘Rough season conceal the shoals of small fry upon which they survive.’
    • ‘If you only open your case up occasionally, the door is fine, and may keep a curious small fry from poking modeling clay or glue sticks into your slot-drive DVD-ROM.’
    • ‘The seabirds prey on the flying fish, needlefish, and assorted small fry which hide in the ripples of the surface.’
    • ‘That's a problem, because many of the small fry perish on their journey to adulthood - and scientists and fishermen would like to know why.’
    • ‘A couple of set-top games for the small fry and DVD-ROM links to more games online round out the first disc.’
    • ‘Will tyke-friendly hair salons make big money tending to small fry with over-grown bangs?’
    • ‘Listening to vintage Bob Marley tunes by moonlight while Clare and Danny joined other small fry on the dance floor made me realize that there are moments when parents on vacation can have their cake and eat it, too.’
    • ‘Rights are undermined, justice usurped, and adult privileges yielded for the sake of a small fry's fragile psyche and ability to grow up worry free.’

Pronunciation:

small fry

/ˈsmôl ˌfrī/