petty

[ 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.
3 small.
4 stingy, miserly.

Related forms

pet·ti·ly, adverbpet·ti·ness, noun

Definition for petty (2 of 2)

Petty

[ pet-ee ]
/ ˈpɛt i /

noun

Richard,born 1937, U.S. racing-car driver.
William, 2nd Earl of Shelburne, 1st Marquis of Lansdowne. William Petty Fitzmaurice Lansdowne.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for petty

British Dictionary definitions for petty

petty

/ (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 Forms

pettily, 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