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small change

coins of small denomination.
someone or something insignificant or trifling:
Those people are small change.
Origin of small change
1810-20 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for small change
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A pocketful of small change will make many a rough place smooth.

    Of Walks and Walking Tours Arnold Haultain
  • I didn't have any small change so I handed the feller a five-dollar bill.

  • These coins were never a legal tender, but were used as “token money,” because small change was scarce in the colonies.

    Once Upon A Time In Connecticut Caroline Clifford Newton
  • The Frenchman found some small change and gave twenty kopeks to each of the pilgrims.

    Father Sergius Leo Tolstoy
  • And when you enter the great field of gratuities, you will find that the absence of small change will cost you heavily.

    How to Travel Thomas W. Knox
  • They had spent the last penny of their small change; there was nothing left but gold.

    O Pioneers! Willa Cather
  • I want you to bring your influence to bear upon your mother, and so make a small change in our plans.

    A Duet Arthur Conan Doyle
  • But Simon MacTaggart was for once not in the mood for the small change of conversation.

    Doom Castle Neil Munro
British Dictionary definitions for small change

small change

coins, esp those of low value
a person or thing that is not outstanding or important
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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Slang definitions & phrases for small change



A sergeant major

[1970s+ Army; fr smaj abbr for sergeant major]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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