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[puh-teet] /pəˈtit/
(of a woman) short and having a small, trim figure; diminutive.
a category of clothing sized for women or girls of less than average height and with average or diminutive figures.
a garment in such a size:
The petites are on that rack.
a woman or girl who wears clothing of such a size.
Origin of petite
1705-15; < French; feminine of petit
Related forms
petiteness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for petite
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We have not seen the 'petite Galérie' yet—dear me, how many years it is since I was in it!

    Grandmother Dear

    Mrs. Molesworth
  • He did not know what was being said, but he meant to support his petite amie in whatever she did.

  • He stayed, too, to eat of the petite souper Lady Throckmorton had ordered.

    Theo Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • "I want to speak to you, petite," he said, as he drew her into a corner.

    The Son of Monte Christo Jules Lermina
  • In 1794 the ground floor of the petite Galerie was used as a Bourse.

    The Story of Paris Thomas Okey
British Dictionary definitions for petite


(of a woman) small, delicate, and dainty
Word Origin
C18: from French, feminine of petit small
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for petite

"little," 1784 (from 1712 in French phrases taken into English), from French petite, fem. of petit "little" (see petit). As a size in women's clothing, attested from 1929.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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