adjective, pu·ni·er, pu·ni·est.
Origin of puny
Examples from the Web for puny
In the end, Shumlin led by a puny 2,434 votes, less than the 50 percent margin needed for victory under Vermont law.
Complete and utter accident of fate, the puny matter of his voter enrollment.Republicans Are Racists? No, It’s Just All a Big Coincidence|Michael Tomasky|April 25, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But his standing in opinion polls is puny, and he has been targeted by Sarah Palin.
Mighty NATO rains down bombs and bullets on Gaddafi's puny forces, but can't score a knockout.
If you had been a puny, wiry, yellow baby, I wouldn't have stood godmother to you.Adam Bede|George Eliot
Men who had heard the crash of Spottsylvania and Cold Harbor laughed at the puny crackle of two hundred muskets.Tonio, Son of the Sierras|Charles King
All these words are merely our puny euphemisms for X, the unknown quantity.The Scrap Book. Volume 1, No. 2|Various
I regarded it as a puny effort on his part, and was relieved to find they did not intend to visit her themselves.Seek and Find|Oliver Optic
How can one confront such a disaster with one's puny efforts?The Pursuit|Frank (Frank Mackenzie) Savile
British Dictionary definitions for puny
adjective -nier or -niest
Word Origin for puny
Word Origin and History for puny
1570s, "inferior in rank" (1540s as a noun, "junior pupil, freshman"), from Middle French puisné (Modern French puîné), from Old French puisne "born later, younger, youngest" (12c., contrasted with aisné "first-born"), from puis nez, from puis "afterward" (from Vulgar Latin *postius, from Latin postea "after this, hereafter," from post "after," see post-, + ea "there") + Old French né "born," from Latin natus, past participle of nasci "be born" (Old Latin gnasci; see genus). Sense of "small, weak, insignificant" first recorded 1590s. Cf. puisne. Related: Puniness.