[ pet-ee-fog, -fawg ]
/ ˈpɛt iˌfɒg, -ˌfɔg /
verb (used without object), pet·ti·fogged, pet·ti·fog·ging.
to bicker or quibble over trifles or unimportant matters.
to carry on a petty, shifty, or unethical law business.
to practice chicanery of any sort.
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Origin of pettifog
First recorded in 1605–15; back formation from pettifogger “ambulance chaser,” equivalent to petty “inferior, secondary” + fogger “shyster,” from Middle Low German voger or Middle Dutch voeger “an arranger, a fixer”; akin to Old English gefōg “a joining, a joint”; see also petty
OTHER WORDS FROM pettifogpet·ti·fog·ger, nounpet·ti·fog·ger·y, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
Example sentences from the Web for pettifog
What then is pettifoggery but a way of utilizing something established without doing away with it?
Poor Athenians who are accused of pettifoggery and sophistry!
It was with pettifoggery and intrigues that Greek liberty ended.
British Dictionary definitions for pettifog
/ (ˈpɛtɪˌfɒɡ) /
verb -fogs, -fogging or -fogged
(intr) to be a pettifogger
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