- Richard,born 1937, U.S. racing-car driver.
- William, 2nd Earl of Shelburne, 1st Marquis of Lansdowne. William Petty Fitzmaurice Lansdowne.
- trivial; trifling; inessentialpetty details
- of a narrow-minded, mean, or small-natured disposition or characterpetty spite
- minor or subordinate in rankpetty officialdom
- law of lesser importance
Word Origin and History for richard petty
late 14c., "small," from phonemic spelling of Old French petit "small" (see petit). In English, not originally disparaging (cf. petty cash, 1834; petty officer, 1570s). Meaning "of small importance" is recorded from 1520s; that of "small-minded" is from 1580s. Related: Pettily; pettiness. An old name for "Northern Lights" was petty dancers.