- 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
Synonyms for petty
Antonyms for petty
Examples from the Web for pettily
Historical Examples of pettily
I am often pettily, impulsively false; its quite, quite true.The Confounding of Camelia
Anne Douglas Sedgwick
- 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 for 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.