[ pet-ee ]
/ ˈpɛt i /
adjective, pet·ti·er, pet·ti·est.
of little or no importance or consequence: petty grievances.
of lesser or secondary importance, merit, etc.; minor: petty considerations.
having or showing narrow ideas, interests, etc.: petty minds.
mean or ungenerous in small or trifling things: a petty person.
showing or caused by meanness of spirit: a petty revenge.
of secondary rank, especially in relation to others of the same class or kind: petty states; a petty tyrant.
Origin of petty
1325–75; Middle English peti(t) small, minor < Old French petit < Gallo-Romance *pittīttus, of expressive orig.
SYNONYMS FOR petty
1 nugatory, negligible, inconsiderable, slight. Petty, paltry, trifling, trivial apply to something that is so insignificant as to be almost unworthy of notice. Petty implies contemptible insignificance and littleness, inferiority and small worth: petty quarrels. Paltry is applied to something that is beneath one's notice, even despicable: a paltry amount. Something that is trifling is so unimportant and inconsiderable as to be practically negligible: a trifling error. Something that is trivial is slight, insignificant, and even in incongruous contrast to something that is significant or important: a trivial remark; a trivial task.
4 stingy, miserly.
Related formspet·ti·ly, adverbpet·ti·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for pettily
I am often pettily, impulsively false; its quite, quite true.The Confounding of Camelia|Anne Douglas Sedgwick
British Dictionary definitions for pettily
/ (ˈpɛtɪ) /
adjective -tier or -tiest
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
Derived Formspettily, adverbpettiness, noun
Word Origin for petty
C14: from Old French petit
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