from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of, relating to, or being a firearm of small caliber.
  • adj. Trivial or parochial in character: "the petty talking points . . . and small-bore scandals that regularly intrude on campaigns” ( New Republic).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having a small caliber.
  • adj. insignificant or trivial.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Clinton, helped by a solid economy, did enough to get re-elected, but it was a year largely characterized by small-bore initiatives like school uniforms and neighborhood curfews. rss feed

  • In the United States, KTM became a respected bike and team within the small-bore ranks several years ago.

    Bayo Olukotun: Austrian Oranges Taste Like Success: Dungey Wins On a KTM

  • While the policy shift allows for a lift on travel and remittance restrictions and paves the way for greater telecommunications links with the island, some bloggers are concerned that the measure has not gone far enough (e.g.: the trade embargo still remains in place), rendering the new policy, in the words of The Cuban Triangle, “humanitarian, unsustainable, small-bore, a kind of inoculation, and a question mark.”

    Global Voices in English » Cuba, U.S.A.: Extending an Olive Branch?

  • But it means that it would be totally impossible for the leader to just come to the floor with a series of a few dozen small-bore proposals on a related topic and then let each one be voted on individuallly.

    Matthew Yglesias » Stuffed

  • By all accounts, Ms. Palin became consumed with the complaints, no matter how small-bore — which many were — or where they came from.

    Johnston says Palin lost his vote

  • Lowering the EB-5 threshold down to the Mexican level seems like a politically tractable, albeit small-bore, way to increase the volume of legal immigration to the United States.

    Matthew Yglesias » EB-5 Visas

  • Obama advocates argue that he is temperamentally ill suited to such a strategy, both because he is more interested in broad change than small-bore tinkering and because it requires a level of deal-making that he has not appeared comfortable with.

    Obama may follow Clinton's model

  • And the Zazi case forcefully demonstrated that al-Qaeda was not waiting to launch “the big one,” but was in fact content to get any kind of terrorist operation going in the United States, even a relatively small-bore attack.

    The Longest War

  • Even Saddam Hussein had left the staunchly independent Sunni tribes of Anbar pretty much to their own devices—mostly small-bore smuggling rackets—and the tribes did not appreciate al-Qaeda muscling into their turf, nor did they subscribe to its vision of a Taliban-style utopia.

    The Longest War

  • And he can expect many reporters and editorial writers to chastise him for being bold rather than "pragmatic" small-bore agenda of a few tax credits and a bite-size infrastructure initiative.

    Peter Dreier: Will Obama Cave Again To Business Pressure?


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