the small print


Also found in: Acronyms, Wikipedia.

the small print

The specific terms, conditions, restrictions, limitations, etc., of an agreement, contract, or other document, often printed in very small type and thus easy to go unnoticed. The terms of the loan look pretty good at face value, but be sure to read the small print or you could find yourself in a heap of trouble down the line. If I had my way, I would make small print illegal—it's so deceitful!
See also: print, small

small print

 and fine print
an important part of a document that is not easily noticed because of the smallness of the printing. You should have read the small print before signing the contract. You should always read the fine print of an insurance policy.
See also: print, small

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]
See also: print, small

the small print

mainly BRITISH or

the fine print

mainly AMERICAN
COMMON The small print in a contract, agreement, or advertisement is the part which contains the legal details. Many patients are being hit by huge bills because they did not read the small print on their insurance forms. I'm looking at the small print. I don't want to sign anything that I shouldn't sign. The president said he'll wait to read the fine print of the trade agreement before he comments on it.
See also: print, small

small print

inconspicuous details or conditions printed in an agreement or contract, especially ones that may prove unfavourable.
Such details are typically printed in small type.
See also: print, small

the ˈsmall print

(British English) (American English the ˈfine print) the parts of a written agreement or legal contract that are printed in very small letters, but which may contain important information: Make sure you read the small print before signing the contract.
See also: print, small
References in classic literature ?
Ye can, with your young eyes, read the small print of the lies from here.
It means they are trying to sell us something we don't need, so in order to make it more attractive, they lie about it, then admit they were lying the whole time - in the small print.
I have tried for a long time to read the small print, and the older I get, the harder it becomes.
The research also looked at the length of the small print surrounding some bank accounts.
The scam listings are absolutely worthless and my advice is to read all the small print on any free offers carefully before signing.
Freeman Despite paying pet insurance premiums, Mr Freeman's wife Stephanie was told they had not complied with the small print.
The small print of the Pre-Budget Report is coming under scrutiny as economists try to work out the full implications of Alistair Darling's strategy to bring down the country's Au178 billion annual deficit.
You need detail of exactly what the pounds 80 is for and where in the small print it states you are liable.
I know most of the companies say it's in the small print.
Victims don't even know they're at risk because exceptions are hidden in the small print of contracts, a Commons watchdog warns.
Combining text which is barely readable with misuse of gravity, the headline is unintentionally buried better than the small print in a legal contract
The small print reads, 'Travellers riding up the Snowdon mountain railway may experience communication problems.
Corporate tax partner at Grant Thornton, John Hodgson, said: "For all the Chancellor's encouraging words, the small print reveals that there are relatively few immediate boosts to business.