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4 definitions found

From: DICT.TW English-Chinese Dictionary 英漢字典

 small beer
 淡啤酒;無足輕重,微不足道

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Small a. [Compar. Smaller superl. Smallest.]
 1. Having little size, compared with other things of the same kind; little in quantity or degree; diminutive; not large or extended in dimension; not great; not much; inconsiderable; as, a small man; a small river.
 To compare
 Great things with small.   --Milton.
 2. Being of slight consequence; feeble in influence or importance; unimportant; trivial; insignificant; as, a small fault; a small business.
 3. Envincing little worth or ability; not large-minded; -- sometimes, in reproach, paltry; mean.
    A true delineation of the smallest man is capable of interesting the greatest man.   --Carlyle.
 4. Not prolonged in duration; not extended in time; short; as, after a small space.
 5. Weak; slender; fine; gentle; soft; not loud. “A still, small voice.”
 Great and small,of all ranks or degrees; -- used especially of persons.  “His quests, great and small.” --Chaucer.
 Small arms, muskets, rifles, pistols, etc., in distinction from cannon.
 Small beer. See under Beer.
 Small coal. (a) Little coals of wood formerly used to light fires. --Gay. (b) Coal about the size of a hazelnut, separated from the coarser parts by screening.
 Small craft Naut., a vessel, or vessels in general, of a small size.
 Small fruits. See under Fruit.
 Small hand, a certain size of paper. See under Paper.
 Small hours. See under Hour.
 Small letter. Print., a lower-case letter. See Lower-case, and Capital letter, under Capital, a.
 Small piece, a Scotch coin worth about 2¼d. sterling, or about 4½cents.
 Small register. See the Note under 1st Register, 7.
 Small stuff Naut., spun yarn, marline, and the smallest kinds of rope. --R. H. Dana, Jr.
 Small talk, light or trifling conversation; chitchat.
 Small wares Com., various small textile articles, as tapes, braid, tringe, and the like. --M‘Culloch.

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Beer n.
 1. A fermented liquor made from any malted grain, but commonly from barley malt, with hops or some other substance to impart a bitter flavor.
 Note:Beer has different names, as small beer, ale, porter, brown stout, lager beer, according to its strength, or other qualities. See Ale.
 2. A fermented extract of the roots and other parts of various plants, as spruce, ginger, sassafras, etc.
 Small beer, weak beer; (fig.) insignificant matters. “To suckle fools, and chronicle small beer.”
 In one of the less surprising revelations of the year,
 researchers at the University of North Carolina (UNC) and
 colleagues have confirmed that excessive consumption of beer
 can lead to the condition commonly known as beer belly.  At
 the same time, however, they discovered that, beyond aesthetic
 concerns, the condition may point to health hazards of a more
 serious nature. In a comparison of beer drinkers and wine
 drinkers, the scientists found that beer tends to build a
 central paunch, or “potbelly”, while wine drinkers tend to
 have narrower waists, even when the same amount of alcohol and
 calories is consumed by both.   --The Scientist -- December 11, 1995.
 

From: WordNet (r) 2.0

 small beer
      n : something of small importance [syn: triviality, trivia,
          trifle]