small print

Idioms & Phrases

small print

Also, fine print. The details in a contract or other document, often indicating restrictions or other disadvantages. For example, Be sure you read the small print before you sign your name to it, or They had the warranty terms in fine print, so you'd overlook the fact that it was only good for a month. This idiom alludes to the fact that such material is often printed in smaller type than the rest of the document. [Mid-1900s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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