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Jehovah’s Witnesses

English

Glossary

Diminutive

Diminutive

Non-Biblical Term

The form of a noun that generally denotes smallness. For example, the Greek terms for “fish” and “boat” are rendered “small fish” and “small boat” when in the diminutive form. (Mt 15:34; Mr 3:9) In addition to size, the diminutive may suggest youth, affection, familiarity and, in some cases, even contempt.

In the Christian Greek Scriptures, diminutives are often used to indicate affection and familiarity. For example, Jesus described his humble followers as “little sheep” (Joh 21:15-17), and the apostle John addressed fellow Christians as “little children.”1Jo 2:1, 12, 28; 3:7, 18; 4:4; 5:21.