petty larceny

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noun Law.

larceny in which the value of the goods taken is below a certain legally specified amount.

Nearby words

  1. petty,
  2. petty bourgeois,
  3. petty bourgeoisie,
  4. petty cash,
  5. petty jury,
  6. petty officer,
  7. petty sessions,
  8. petty, richard,
  9. petty-fitzmaurice,
  10. petulance


Compare grand larceny.

Origin of petty larceny

First recorded in 1810–20

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for petty larceny

  • It's too cramped, too girded about with petty-larceny conventions.

    North of Fifty-Three|Bertrand W. Sinclair
  • It simply means a thief on a grand scale, something more than "a snapper-up of unconsidered trifles," or petty-larceny rascal.

    Rookwood|William Harrison Ainsworth
  • He had all the contempt for a petty-larceny thief that the skilled safe-breaker has for the common purse-snatcher.

    'Me-Smith'|Caroline Lockhart


British Dictionary definitions for petty larceny

petty larceny

noun

a variant spelling of petit larceny
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