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[slahyt] /slaɪt/
adjective, slighter, slightest.
small in amount, degree, etc.:
a slight increase; a slight odor.
of little importance, influence, etc.; trivial:
a slight cut.
slender or slim; not heavily built.
frail; flimsy; delicate:
a slight fabric.
of little substance or strength.
verb (used with object)
to treat as of little importance.
to treat (someone) with indifference; ignore, especially pointedly or contemptuously; snub:
to be slighted by society.
to do negligently; scamp:
to slight one's studies.
an act or instance of slighting indifference or treatment:
Slights marred his work.
a pointed and contemptuous discourtesy; affront:
She considered not being invited an unforgivable slight.
1250-1300; Middle English (adj.) smooth, sleek, slender; compare Old English -sliht- in eorth-slihtes even with ground; cognate with German schlicht, Old Norse slēttr, Gothic slaihts smooth
Related forms
slighter, noun
slightly, adverb
slightness, noun
overslight, adjective
unslighted, adjective
2. insignificant, trifling, paltry. 3. See slender. 4. weak, feeble, fragile. 5. unsubstantial, inconsiderable. 6. disdain, scorn. Slight, disregard, neglect, overlook mean to pay no attention or too little attention to someone or something. To slight is to give only superficial attention to something important: to slight one's work. To disregard is to pay no attention to a person or thing: to disregard the rules; in some circumstances, to disregard may be admirable: to disregard a handicap. To neglect is to shirk paying sufficient attention to a person or thing: to neglect one's correspondence. To overlook is to fail to see someone or something (possibly because of carelessness): to overlook a bill that is due. 9. neglect, disregard, inattention; disdain, scorn. 10. See insult.
1. considerable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for slightly
  • Focus your search on a slightly longer commute to campus and see what you find.
  • As those restraints have lifted, activity has improved slightly.
  • Two-toed sloths are slightly larger than their three-toed relatives.
  • Perhaps the actual path length traversed is somehow slightly shorter than expected.
  • Each allele codes for a bitter taste receptor protein with a slightly different shape.
  • Place a second bunch on the base, overlapping the first slightly to cover the pins.
  • But things are now changing, slightly but noticeably.
  • Retail sales in the euro area are slightly better than expected too.
  • The sun's energy output varies slightly as sunspots wax and wane on the star's surface.
  • Body temperature also varies slightly depending on where on the human body it is measured.
British Dictionary definitions for slightly


in small measure or degree


small in quantity or extent
of small importance; trifling
slim and delicate
lacking in strength or substance
(Southwest English, dialect) ill
verb (transitive)
to show indifference or disregard for (someone); snub
to treat as unimportant or trifling
(US) to devote inadequate attention to (work, duties, etc)
an act or omission indicating supercilious neglect or indifference
Derived Forms
slightness, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old Norse slēttr smooth; related to Old High German slehtr, Gothic slaihts, Middle Dutch slecht simple
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for slightly
from an O.Scand. source akin to O.N. slettr "smooth, sleek," from P.Gmc. *slikhtaz (cf. O.S. slicht; Low Ger. slicht "smooth, plain common;" O.E. -sliht "level," attested in eorðslihtes "level with the ground;" O.Fris. sliucht, M.Du. sleht, O.H.G. sleht, Goth. slaihts "smooth"), probably from a collateral form of PIE base *sleig- "to smooth, glide." Sense evolution is from "level" to "smooth, sleek" (c.1300), to "slender, weak" (1393), to "trifling, inferior" (1548). The verb sense of "treat with indifference" is first recorded 1597, from the adj. sense of "having little worth." Sense of Ger. cognate schlecht developed from "smooth, plain, simple" to "bad," and as it did it was replaced in the original senses by schlicht, a back-formation from schlichten "to smooth, to plane," a derivative of schlecht in the old sense.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with slightly
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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