Synonyms for Petit

Learn some different ways to say "small" and "short" in French

If you want to make your French sound more, well, French, one place to start is with your vocabulary. In French classes, you tend to learn the most common, basic terms. The adjective petit is one example of a very common French word that can be replaced by any number of synonyms. Take a look at this lesson to learn some different ways to say "small" and "short," and be sure to note the different nuances. Click on each word to hear it pronounced.

Petit - small, short

   J'ai besoin d'un petit carton
   I need a small box

   Elle est assez petite
   She is fairly short

Petit can also be modified by tout to emphasize the smallness:

   Il y a un tout petit problème
   There's a tiny problem

Synonyms for petit


   short, brief

   Vous devriez écrire une introduction courte
   You should write a short introduction

   Il a la mémoire courte
   He has a short memory


   narrow, tight

   C'était une victoire étriquée
   It was a narrow victory

   Ton pantalon a l'air d'être assez étriqué
   Your pants look pretty tight


   weak, small

   Nous n'avons qu'une faible quantité de réserves
   We have only a few supplies (We have only a small quantity of supplies)


   fine, thin

   J'aimerais une fine tranche de gâteau
   I'd like a thin slice of cake


   tiny, miniscule

   Il a gagné d'une majorité infime
   He won by a tiny majority


   light, slight, minor

   C'est une blessure légère
   It's a minor wound


   meager, slight

   Son revenu maigre n'est pas suffisant
   His meager income is insufficient



   Les microbes sont microscopiques
   Germs are microsopic


   thin, meager, slender

   Nous avons une mince chance de succès
   We have a slender chance of success


   miniscule, tiny

   Je déteste ces minuscules fenêtres dans les salles de bains
   I hate those minuscule windows in bathrooms


   small, modest

   C'est un appartement modeste
   It's a modest apartment


   negligible, trivial

   J'ignore les détails négligeables
   I don't know about the trivial details


   (adverb) little, not much

   Elle parle peu
   She speaks little, She doesn't speak much



   Un nombre réduit de nos étudiants...

   A small number of our students...