mea·​sly | \ ˈmēz-lē How to pronounce measly (audio) , ˈmē-zə- \
measlier; measliest

Definition of measly

1 : infected with measles
2a : containing larval tapeworms
b : infested with trichinae
3 : contemptibly small

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Examples of measly in a Sentence

She complained about being given such a measly raise. All I want is a few measly minutes of your time.
Recent Examples on the Web Traded to the Seahawks for a measly seventh-round pick in April, Hollister has been a revelation the last two weeks., "“It’s fun to see that there’s people that strategize in the game, they don’t just do the same things over and over,” Henning, retired in Florida, said by telephone this past week.," 16 Nov. 2019 But whereas Amazon’s international e-commerce sales grew by a comparatively measly 12% year on year in the second quarter, the upstarts’ sales are rising by high double digits or more, as the emerging world embraces the virtual one. The Economist, "Baby Amazons take on their American role model," 1 Aug. 2019 Of course, Allen was way too elated to be meeting Markle (and get a hug from her) to care about the measly makeup stain. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Meghan Markle’s Makeup Mishap Is All Too Relatable," 8 Nov. 2019 The Dolphins had to make the trade for a measly sixth-round pick, if just to take down the chances for Drake having a dynamic play to change a game. Dave Hyde,, "Hyde10: Ten thoughts on Dolphins’ 27-14 loss to Steelers," 29 Oct. 2019 At 5-foot-6-inches and tipping the scale at a comparatively measly 176-pounds, Kolbe is a Hobbit among cave trolls. Daniel Gallan, CNN, "Little guys play big part at Rugby World Cup," 26 Oct. 2019 The Brazilian joined the Gunners from London rivals Chelsea on transfer deadline day for a measly £8m, a move which left both sets of supporters stunned., "David Luiz Reveals How Honest Discussion With Frank Lampard Led to Chelsea Departure," 18 Aug. 2019 They were held to draws against Leicester, Manchester United and Burnley before losing to Everton - resulting in them having just the three measly points., "Wolves Premier League Month in Review: August - Best Player, Worst Performance & Overall Rating," 8 Sep. 2019 But Ani and Bryce form a bond that unfolds in flashbacks throughout the season, which finds Jessica determined to upend the culture that enabled her brutal rape — and Bryce’s measly punishment of three months probation. Bethonie Butler, Washington Post, "‘13 Reasons Why’ has addressed some of its troubling issues. Now it has a new one.," 26 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'measly.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of measly

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for measly

Time Traveler

The first known use of measly was in 1598

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Statistics for measly

Last Updated

2 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Measly.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 13 December 2019.

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More Definitions for measly


How to pronounce measly (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of measly

informal + disapproving : very small or too small in size or amount


mea·​sly | \ ˈmēz-lē How to pronounce measly (audio) \
measlier; measliest

Kids Definition of measly

: so small or unimportant as to be rejected with scorn They left a measly tip for the waiter.


mea·​sly | \ ˈmēz-(ə-)lē How to pronounce measly (audio) \
measlier; measliest

Medical Definition of measly

1 : infected with measles
2a : containing larval tapeworms
b : infected with trichinae

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More from Merriam-Webster on measly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for measly

Spanish Central: Translation of measly

Nglish: Translation of measly for Spanish Speakers

Comments on measly

What made you want to look up measly? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


easily led, controlled, or managed

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