If a person or a thing is called 'small-time' it means they're inconsequential, not worth much, don't play in the 'big leagues', as in 'a small-time operator'.

The small dictionary of idiomes. 2014.

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  • small-time — adj small time crook/gangster etc a criminal who is not involved in large or serious crimes >small timer n …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • small-time — small′ time′ adj. having little or no importance or influence: a small time politician[/ex] • Etymology: 1910–15 small′ tim′er, n …   From formal English to slang

  • small-time — small ,time adjective not very important or effective: a small time crook …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • small-time — small timer, n. /smawl tuym /, adj. of modest or insignificant size, importance, or influence: a small time politician. [1910 15] * * * …   Universalium

  • small-time — (adj.) 1910, originally theater slang for lower salaried circuits, or ones requiring more daily performances …   Etymology dictionary

  • small-time — [adj] minor bush league*, dinky*, inconsequential, inconsiderable, insignificant, low, petty, piddling, secondary, second string*, trivial, two bit*, unimportant; concepts 575,773,789 …   New thesaurus

  • small-time — ► ADJECTIVE informal ▪ unimportant; minor …   English terms dictionary

  • small-time — ☆ small time [smôltīm΄ ] adj. Informal of little importance or significance; minor or petty …   English World dictionary

  • small-time — ADJ GRADED If you refer to workers or businesses as small time, you think they are not very important because their work is limited in extent or not very successful. During my youth I knew all the small time drug dealers and criminals. ...a small …   English dictionary

  • small-time — mod. insignificant; petty. □ I was in a lot of small time stuff at home, but never a Broadway hit before. □ Broadway is not small time. □ Bart was involved in a lot of small time crime when he was twelve …   Dictionary of American slang and colloquial expressions

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