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Lilliputian   /lˌɪləpjˈuʃən/   Listen
Lilliputian

adjective
1.
Tiny; relating to or characteristic of the imaginary country of Lilliput.
2.
Very small.  Synonyms: bantam, diminutive, flyspeck, midget, petite, tiny.  "A lilliputian chest of drawers" , "Her petite figure" , "Tiny feet" , "The flyspeck nation of Bahrain moved toward democracy"
3.
(informal) small and of little importance.  Synonyms: fiddling, footling, little, niggling, petty, picayune, piddling, piffling, trivial.  "A footling gesture" , "Our worries are lilliputian compared with those of countries that are at war" , "A little (or small) matter" , "A dispute over niggling details" , "Limited to petty enterprises" , "Piffling efforts" , "Giving a police officer a free meal may be against the law, but it seems to be a picayune infraction"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Lilliputian" Quotes from Famous Books



... shrub, tree, or flower that I had ever seen in the North except the oleander. Even that had wholly changed its habits and appearance, and resembled the pot-grown plant of Northern households only as the gigantic sequoia of California resembles the stunted Lilliputian pine of the Siberian tundra. The Key West oleander is not a plant, nor a shrub; it is a tree. In the yard of a private house on Carolina Street I saw an oleander nearly thirty feet in height, whose branches shaded an area twenty feet or ...
— Campaigning in Cuba • George Kennan

... at the period in question. Our battles were obstinate and frequent; but as the quarrels of the two families and their relations on each side, were as bitter and pugnacious in fairs and markets as ours were in school, we hit upon the plan of holding our Lilliputian engagements upon the same days on which our fathers and brothers contested. According to this plan, it very often happened that the corresponding parties were successful, and as frequently, that whilst the Caseys were well drubbed in the fair, their sons ...
— The Station; The Party Fight And Funeral; The Lough Derg Pilgrim • William Carleton

... merry, restless knots of diving, feeding, coquetting, quarreling swimmers, relieving the colorless ice with groups of jetty velvet and scoter ducks, gray and white-winged coots, crested mergansers in their gorgeous spring plumage, and fat, lazy black ducks, with Lilliputian blue and green winged teal, filling the air with the whirr of swift pinions, and the ceaseless murmur of the mating myriads, rested from their long northward journey, a host such as mortal eye hath seldom beheld, and which it ...
— Adrift in the Ice-Fields • Charles W. Hall

... resemblance to the fabled monster slain by St. George, consists of a loose skin over the ribs, which they can open or fold at pleasure. These bat-like wings will not support them in the air, but serve to steady their bodies when leaping from branch to branch of a tree. From these lilliputian representatives of the monster of fable, the visitor's attention will most probably be called by an important-looking lizard, of which Mr. Allan Cunningham brought the first specimens to this country, from Port Nelson, Australia. We allude ...
— How to See the British Museum in Four Visits • W. Blanchard Jerrold

... Poor scornful Lilliputian souls, And are ye still too proud To risk your little aureoles By kneeling with the crowd? Do ye still dream ye "stand alone" So fearless and so strong? To-day we claim the rebels' throne And leave ...
— Collected Poems - Volume One (of 2) • Alfred Noyes

... headset followed, after which Mac oozed into the Lilliputian air lock at the bottom, now rear, wall of the cabin. He nodded to Ruiz, who secured the air lock, then adjusted his suit control to force a little pressure into his suit. Gradually the suit became livable. Then he cracked the other air-lock ...
— Tight Squeeze • Dean Charles Ing

... moon, and the thick foliage produced a deep, dark density, mysterious and sweet. The grand terraces about the castle were still, save for the buzz of summer insects and the low, sleepy twittering of birds. There was not a star to be seen and only the glow-worm lent an occasional lilliputian effulgence to the great, dark world. All within the castle appeared to have retired earlier than usual; perhaps for the purpose of an earlier awakening, as their Graces of Ellswold were to set out early on the morrow morning, aiming to make some great distance ...
— Mistress Penwick • Dutton Payne

... Mister TURNER came in for the BENJAMIN'S mess of obloquy, having represented Pluto, the god of wealth, in the act of carrying off a female Proserpine, but the figures so Lilliputian, and in such a disproportionate expansion of confused sceneries, that the elopement produced but a very paltry impression. The slipshod carelessness of this painter may be realised from the fact that in a composition styled "Blue Lights ...
— Baboo Jabberjee, B.A. • F. Anstey

... galvanic shock thrills through your body; on guard! if you would save your bait; another twinge, fainter than the first, and at last a regular tug, and you haul in your line, which is jerking incessantly by this time. The next moment the hooks come to the surface, and on one of them you find a Lilliputian fish that is not yet old enough to feed himself, and was ...
— In the Footprints of the Padres • Charles Warren Stoddard

... those other actions which will be recorded forever in the chronicles of that empire, while posterity shall hardly believe them, although attested by millions. I reflected what a mortification it must prove to me to appear as inconsiderable in this nation as one single Lilliputian would be among us. But this I conceived was to be the least of my misfortunes; for, as human creatures are observed to be more savage and cruel in proportion to their bulk, what could I expect but to be a morsel in the mouth of the first among these enormous barbarians that ...
— Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 5 • Charles Sylvester

... fair to call the famous "Drapier's Letters" patriotism? They are masterpieces of dreadful humour and invective: they are reasoned logically enough too, but the proposition is as monstrous and fabulous as the Lilliputian island. It is not that the grievance is so great, but there is his enemy—the assault is wonderful for its activity and terrible rage. It is Samson, with a bone in his hand, rushing on his enemies and felling them: one admires not the cause so much as the strength, the anger, the fury ...
— Harvard Classics Volume 28 - Essays English and American • Various

... of different bulk but built upon exactly the same plan and proportions, say a Brobdingnagian and a Lilliputian, and let both show their powers in the arena. Suppose the first to weigh a million times more than the second. If the giant could raise to his shoulder, some thirty-five feet from the ground, a weight ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 430, March 29, 1884 • Various

... when any inquiries were made after her health, his answer had invariably been, of late, "Why, Mrs. A.—is—not very well;" and a smile would play about his mouth, as though he had a delightful vision of a widower-hood. The mystery was at length solved, by the exhibition of sundry articles of a Lilliputian wardrobe, followed by an announcement in the Morning Post, ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete • Various

... circumference of the body fourteen and a half feet; while its thigh-bone was twenty times the size of that of the modern iguana. Vast as was the inhabitant of the ancient world, it was herbivorous, like that of the comparatively Lilliputian creature ...
— The Western World - Picturesque Sketches of Nature and Natural History in North - and South America • W.H.G. Kingston

... Cambridge, without any troublesome work of lecturing to students. Here he gave himself up to study and to poetry, varying his work by "prowlings" among the manuscripts of the new British Museum, and by his "Lilliputian" travels in England and Scotland. He died in his rooms at Pembroke College in 1771, and was buried in the ...
— English Literature - Its History and Its Significance for the Life of the English Speaking World • William J. Long

... seem colorless—inadequate to convey the picture it presented or the sense of awe it inspired. Looking at it from among the boulders on the shore it seemed the last degree of madness for human beings to pit their Lilliputian strength against that racing, thundering flood. Certain it was that The Big Mallard was the supreme test of courage ...
— The Man from the Bitter Roots • Caroline Lockhart

... Lilliputian craft of our brooks are not galleys; there are submarines, which, in excellence of action and control, put to shame all human efforts along the same line. These are the water boatmen, stout boat-shaped insects whose hind legs are long, projecting outward like the oars of a rowboat. They ...
— The Log of the Sun - A Chronicle of Nature's Year • William Beebe

... with an avowed contempt for that of their neighbour; yet our emperor, standing upon the advantage he had got by the seizure of their fleet, obliged them to deliver their credentials, and make their speech, in the Lilliputian tongue. And it must be confessed, that from the great intercourse of trade and commerce between both realms, from the continual reception of exiles which is mutual among them, and from the custom, in ...
— Gulliver's Travels - into several remote nations of the world • Jonathan Swift

... dinner. And when the ones who pass their lives in city streets spoke of skyscrapers or of the little Czar on his far, frozen throne, or of insignificant fish from inconsequential streams, this big, deep-chested man, faultlessly clothed, and eyed like an Emperor, disposed of their Lilliputian chatter with a ...
— The Voice of the City • O. Henry

... especially in a strange place; but on the present occasion a Brobdignagian notice caught my eye, and gave me a queer sensation inside my waistcoat—"Awful smash among the Banks!" Below, in more Lilliputian characters, followed a list of names. I had just obtained notes of different banks for my travelling expenses, and I knew not how many thereof might belong to the bankrupt list before me; a short ...
— Lands of the Slave and the Free - Cuba, The United States, and Canada • Henry A. Murray

... of man should dwell in a palace, not in a pest-house; in a human temple, velvety, lined with down, inside and out; in which there are hundreds of millions of lilliputian trappings, fittings and articles of furniture, to carry on the minute and finer functions and chemistry of the soul. The very multitude of the fine equipments that decorate the temple give it that beautiful blending ...
— Intestinal Ills • Alcinous Burton Jamison

... the speech of the landscape—in contrast with those grander and vaster regions of the earth which keep an indifferent aspect in the presence of men's toil and devices. What does it signify that a lilliputian train passes over a viaduct amidst the abysses of the Apennines, or that a caravan laden with a nation's offerings creeps across the unresting sameness of the desert, or that a petty cloud of steam sweeps for an instant over ...
— Impressions of Theophrastus Such • George Eliot

... crow and the raven tarry with us. Our city lies in the midst of a desert of the purest —most unadulterated, and compromising sand—in which infernal soil nothing but that fag-end of vegetable creation, "sage-brush," ventures to grow. If you will take a Lilliputian cedar tree for a model, and build a dozen imitations of it with the stiffest article of telegraph wire—set them one foot apart and then try to walk through them, you'll understand (provided the floor is covered 12 ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... motionless. In the foreground, in front of and below this almost fantastic landscape, is a miniature garden where two beautiful white cats are taking the air, amusing themselves by pursuing each other through the paths of a Lilliputian labyrinth, shaking the wet sand from their paws. The garden is as conventional as possible: not a flower, but little rocks, little lakes, dwarf trees cut in grotesque fashion; all this is not natural, but it is most ingeniously arranged, so green, ...
— Madame Chrysantheme Complete • Pierre Loti

... a milliner and dressmaker, as a card in the window informed the passer-by. Not that the card was necessary, as of course in so small a place everybody knew everybody else; but it was a sort of sign of office, and was always most carefully replaced when Sarah Ann, Miss Michin's Lilliputian maid, cleaned the window, which she did much oftener than was necessary—at least, Mrs. Dodd, the post-mistress, who lived opposite, said so. But then Mrs. Dodd had the shop and a young family to attend to, and did not find it possible to keep her own windows ...
— The Argosy - Vol. 51, No. 5, May, 1891 • Various

... painting or sculpture; and it is the least striking, as it is the most comprehensive of the three. To hear a strain of music to see a beautiful woman, a river, a great city, or a starry night, is to make a man despair of his Lilliputian arts in language. Now, to gain that emphasis which seems denied to us by the very nature of the medium, the proper method of literature is by selection, which is a kind of negative exaggeration. It is the right of the literary artist, as Thoreau was on the point of seeing, to ...
— Familiar Studies of Men & Books • Robert Louis Stevenson

... series of bright and charming "pictures." North of Waldorf is Pelham, consisting of 1,200 acres, one of the largest fruit farms in the world. Passing Esopus Island, which seems like a great stranded and petrified whale, along whose sides often cluster Lilliputian-like canoeists, we see Brown's Dock on the west bank at the mouth of Black Creek, which rises eight miles from Newburgh on the eastern slope of the Plaaterkill Mountains. Flowing through Black Pond, known by the Dutch ...
— The Hudson - Three Centuries of History, Romance and Invention • Wallace Bruce

... establishment of a compact nature, an establishment in miniature, quite a pocket establishment. Miss Pupford, Miss Pupford's assistant with the Parisian accent, Miss Pupford's cook, and Miss Pupford's housemaid, complete what Miss Pupford calls the educational and domestic staff of her Lilliputian College. ...
— Tom Tiddler's Ground • Charles Dickens

... much upon the slope, and there was a flaw in the solid leafy thatch of the wood at some distance below the level at which I chanced myself to be walking; then, indeed, little scraps of foreshortened distance, miniature fields, and Lilliputian houses and hedgerow trees would appear for a moment in the aperture, and grow larger and smaller, and change and melt one into another, as I continued to go forward, and so shift my ...
— Essays of Travel • Robert Louis Stevenson

... peaks of mountains. On our left, the Bay of Biscay lay extended as far as the horizon, while several of our ships of war were seen sporting upon her bosom. Beneath us lay the pretty little town of St. Jean de Luz, which looked as if it had just been framed out of the Lilliputian scenery of a toy-shop. The town of Bayonne, too, was visible in the distance; and the view to the right embraced a beautiful well-wooded country, thickly studded with towns and villages, as far as the eye ...
— Adventures in the Rifle Brigade, in the Peninsula, France, and the Netherlands - from 1809 to 1815 • Captain J. Kincaid

... garden-pots. There's no time to be lost, I can tell you, if you mean to save their precious lives. Miss Ada is upon her last legs, and master Diomede in a galloping consumption—two of our prime geraniums, ma'am!" quoth Dick, with a condescending nod to Miss Wolfe, as that Lilliputian lady looked up at him with a stare of unspeakable mystification; "queerish names, a'tot they? Well, there are the patterns of the sizes, and there's the order; so if your little gentleman will but look the pots out, I have left the cart in Jem Tyler's yard, (I've a message to Jem from master,) ...
— Miss Philly Firkin, The China-Woman • Mary Russell Mitford

... caressingly over his head, lamented the loss of his poor hair. Amongst them they relieved him of his straitjacket, set up his head, covered his feet, and he slept like a top for want of drastics and opiates, and in spite of some brilliant charges by the Lilliputian cavalry. ...
— Hard Cash • Charles Reade

... through all his work, Swift's contribution to the coming Novel was above all the use of a certain grave, realistic manner of treating the impossible: a service, however, shared with Defoe. He gives us in a matter-of-fact chronicle style the marvelous happenings of Gulliver in Lilliputian land or in that of the Brobdingnagians. He and Defoe are to be regarded as pioneers who suggested to the literary world, just before the Novel's advent, that the attraction of a new form and a new method, the exploitation of the truth that, "The proper study of mankind is man," could not ...
— Masters of the English Novel - A Study Of Principles And Personalities • Richard Burton

... shadows to a burnt-onion hue. Along the edges of the picture, almost against the black oak frame, a continuous narrative unfolded in unintelligible episodes, intruding one upon the other, portraying Lilliputian figures, in houses of dwarfs. Here the Saint, whose name Durtal had sought in vain, crossed a curly, wooden sea in a sailboat; there he marched through a village as big as a fingernail; then he disappeared into the shadows of the painting and was discovered ...
— La-bas • J. K. Huysmans

... with an avowed contempt for that of its neighbor; yet our emperor, standing upon the advantage he had got by the seizure of their fleet, obliged them to deliver their credentials, and make their speech in the Lilliputian tongue. ...
— Gulliver's Travels - Into Several Remote Regions of the World • Jonathan Swift

... time," returned Mrs. Brewster, "when we ran away from school to see the Lilliputian bazaar and your mother was there and walked you out by the ear?" Thus the ...
— The Camp Fire Girls at School • Hildegard G. Frey

... the western counties, descending the Wye in a boat for forty miles, and visiting among other spots which the muse had then, or has since, made illustrious, Hagley and the Leasowes, the Malvern Hills and Tintern Abby. But the most significant of Gray's "Lilliputian travels," was his tour of the Lake Country in 1769. Here he was on ground that has since become classic; and the lover of Wordsworth encounters with a singular interest, in Gray's "Journal in the Lakes," written nearly thirty years before the "Lyrical ...
— A History of English Romanticism in the Eighteenth Century • Henry A. Beers

... just at the middle of the log, the ribbon, binding the slipper to Miss Fanny's ankle, had broken—probably on account of her struggles—and the luckless slipper had fallen into the stream. It was now scudding along like a Lilliputian boat, the huge rosettes of crimson ribbon ...
— The Last of the Foresters • John Esten Cooke

... such representations, and would sit up all night, making dresses for the puppets. In an agreeable little article she has devoted to the subject, she describes how from the crudest beginnings they succeeded in elaborating their art to a high pitch; the repertoire of their lilliputian theater including more than twenty plays, their "company" over ...
— Famous Women: George Sand • Bertha Thomas

... obtained, only by unremitting labors and perils. But we shall preserve it; and our mass of weight and wealth on the good side is so great, as to leave no danger that force will ever be attempted against us. We have only to awake and snap the Lilliputian cords with which they have been entangling us during the first sleep which ...
— Washington and the American Republic, Vol. 3. • Benson J. Lossing

... proud islanders, is infallibly diverted by a denunciation of an aristocratic quartrain, or some new mode, whose general adoption renders it suspected as the badge of a party.—If, according to Cardinal de Retz' opinion, elaborate attention to trifles denote a little mind, these are true Lilliputian ...
— A Residence in France During the Years 1792, 1793, 1794 and 1795, • An English Lady

... you quite confuse me with being so silly,' said Mrs. Gibson, fluttered and annoyed as she usually was with the Lilliputian darts' Cynthia flung at her. She had recourse to her accustomed feckless piece of retaliation—bestowing some favour on Molly; and this did not hurt Cynthia ...
— Wives and Daughters • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... dainty petals of the delicate buds were beginning to wither. And Sir Chetwynd had heard much of Cairo; he understood that there was a great deal of liberty allowed there between men and maids,—that they went out together on driving excursions to the Pyramids, that they rode on lilliputian donkeys over the sand at moonlight, that they floated about in boats at evening on the Nile, and that, in short, there were more opportunities of marriage among the "flesh-pots of Egypt" than in all the rush and crush of ...
— Ziska - The Problem of a Wicked Soul • Marie Corelli

... work everywhere, Lilliputian against the bulk of the hull they were contriving. Davidge escorted Marie Louise with caution across tremulous planks, through dark caverns into ...
— The Cup of Fury - A Novel of Cities and Shipyards • Rupert Hughes

... Italy, but still delaying. But for our fears on account of our child, I believe we should have wandered over the world, both being passionately fond of travelling. But human life, besides its great unalterable necessities, is ruled by a thousand lilliputian ties that shackle at the time, although it is difficult to account afterwards for their influence ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley Volume I • Percy Bysshe Shelley



Words linked to "Lilliputian" :   diminutive, character, piddling, tiny, small person, colloquialism, small, unimportant, fictitious character, fictional character, Lilliput



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