- ridiculously or insultingly small: a paltry sum.
- utterly worthless.
- mean or contemptible: a paltry coward.
Origin of paltry
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for paltry
In all these elections, it was the suburbs—not paltry gains in the cities—that made the difference.The Progressives’ War on Suburbia
November 16, 2014
Also shown are the (paltry) sums spent by each organization on candidates and campaigns.Flushing Money Down the Tea Party Toilet
August 19, 2014
Salem the prep school kid felt so slighted by a paltry $3 million bonus in 2011 that he left the firm.Too Big to Jail: Confessions of a Goldman Sachs Brat
June 26, 2014
In his first season as owner of the San Diego Clippers, the team drew a paltry 4,344 fans a game.How to Rescue the Clippers From Donald Sterling’s Racist Clutches
April 29, 2014
Yes, women make up 45% of the Swedish parliament compared to a paltry 18% in the U.S Congress.Can the Gender Gap Be Solved?
April 22, 2014
Duncan dismissed this paltry consideration with a princely gesture.The Fortune Hunter
Louis Joseph Vance
What's that paltry hundred or two, compared with the millions I shall make?
Lugging a fellow up for a pitiful, paltry sum of twenty pounds!
The poor thing's vengeance was theatrical and paltry, but what of the man, wherever he was?The Christian
It was a paltry consolation, perhaps, but it was the best that then occurred to me.The Shame of Motley
- insignificant; meagre
- worthless or petty
Word Origin and History for paltry
1560s, probably an adjectival use of noun paltry "worthless thing" (1550s), associated with dialectal palt, pelt "trash," cognate with Middle Low German and East Frisian palte "rag," Middle Dutch palt "broken or torn fragment." Cf. Low German paltrig "rubbishy," East Frisian palterig "ragged, torn."