Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
1. A small, young child (or children). An allusion to newly hatched fish. Can be singular or plural, and can also be pluralized as "small fries." There's a bouncy castle out the back for the small fry, and we have video games set up in the living room for the older kids. You're still just a small fry. When you're bigger, you can come skateboarding, too.
2. By extension, trifling, unimportant, or inconsequential persons or things. I've been trying to raise my concerns about the project, but the company's upper management doesn't listen to small fry like me. The investigations have turned up small fries so far, but I think they're getting closer to the big money laundering scheme.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. Lit. newly hatched fish; small, juvenile fish. The catch was bad today. Nothing but small fry.
2. Fig. unimportant people. The police have only caught the small fry. The leader of the gang is still free. You people are just small fry! I want to talk to the boss.
3. Fig. children. Peter's taking the small fry to the zoo. We should take the small fry to the pantomime.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Young children, as in This show is not suitable for small fry.
2. Persons of little importance or influence, as in She wasn't about to invite the Washington small fry to the reception. Both usages allude to fry in the sense of "young or small fish." [Late 1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ˈsmall fry(informal) people, groups or businesses that are not considered to be important or powerful: These local companies are only small fry compared to the huge multinationals. OPPOSITE: a big name/noise/shot
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
1. n. anything or anyone small or unimportant. (Fry are juvenile fish.) Don’t worry about the small fry. You have to please the fat-cats.
2. n. small children. The small fries have eaten and are getting ready for bed.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.