pe·​tite | \ pə-ˈtēt \

Definition of petite

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having a small trim figure usually used of a woman



Definition of petite (Entry 2 of 2)

: a clothing size for short women

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Other Words from petite


petiteness noun

Examples of petite in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Bonus: The jeans are available in petite, classic, and tall lengths. Buy it: $110, Available in sizes 23 through 37. Tiffany Dodson, SELF, "The Best High-Waisted Jeans for Curvy Girls," 30 Jan. 2019 Dewan paired her oversize, brilliant-blue denim jacket with a frilly maxi dress, making the petite star look taller and accentuating her shape. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Jenna Dewan Nails Everyday Casual In a Studded Bag and Patterned Ankle Boots," 24 Jan. 2019 Thanks to their petite size, tea lights look great outside without overwhelming a tabletop. Kaitlin Clark, Curbed, "A beginner’s guide to decorating with candles," 23 July 2018 Anh-Marthe Storheil wears many hats; having established herself as a retailer and head of her own fashion agency, this petite brunette launched her own casual brand of clothing, Iben, four years ago. Vogue, "Oslo Fashion Week Opens With Tulle, Trenches, Garden Parties, and a Bit of Baroque," 15 Aug. 2018 But in the last week, he’s been papped with the same petite brunette twice, in New York and Los Angeles. Allie Jones, The Cut, "All the Gossip About Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan’s Divorce," 3 Apr. 2018 Soffer, who is dressed in a high/low mix of Celine and COS, her petite frame augmented by towering cork wedges, is walking me through the ground level of the new three-story, 315,000-square-foot luxury wing that opened in 2017. Horacio Silva, Town & Country, "A Guide to Miami's Chicest Shopping Districts," 30 Nov. 2018 With a guest judge like Christina Aguilera appearing on the RuPaul’s Drag Race season 10 premiere, the reality show has big shoes -- or more literally, in the pop icon’s case, somewhat petite shoes -- to fill. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "First Look: See Halsey Slay the Runway as a Guest Judge on 'RuPaul's Drag Race'," 28 Mar. 2018 Tokyo apartments are notoriously petite—accommodations at this hotel are assuredly larger than your typical five-star, and maybe even shinier. Keith Flanagan, Condé Nast Traveler, "35 Best Hotels in Tokyo," 28 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Sketches are delivered, petites mains are stitching about, and Lagerfeld is watching over it all with a discerning eye, signing off on each couture creation. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Watch the Trailer for 7 Days Out, the New Netflix Series That Goes Inside a Chanel Couture Show and Other Landmark Events," 11 Dec. 2018 His previous base in Paris was a petite, 485-square-foot one-bedroom across the street from the café La Palette in Saint-Germain- des-Prés. Ian Phillips, ELLE Decor, "Seventh Heaven," 1 Aug. 2012 Here, Dior shared a few behind-the-scenes photos of the making of the dress exclusively with Vogue, plus a video of the petites mains at work in the atelier. Emily Farra, Vogue, "When Beige Isn’t Boring: The Story Behind Dior’s Toile de Jouy Couture Gown," 6 July 2018 Loft: This national chain (with locations in SouthPark, Northlake and Blakeney) takes denim seriously, with a range of styles, fits, colors and sizes (24-34 in many styles, but petites and plus are also available). Cristina B Bolling, charlotteobserver, "Where to buy jeans in Charlotte? Try these 9 shopper-recommended places," 8 June 2018 In terms of craft, is there a meaningful comparison to be made between the petites mains of the couture houses and the embroiderers of the Vatican? Jason Farago, New York Times, "A Trinity of Opinions on the Met’s ‘Heavenly Bodies’," 20 May 2018 The petite, raven-haired designer Tatiana Baibabaeva seems to be living a globe-spanning fairytale that will, if everything goes according to plan, soon land her in sun-swept Mallorca keeping shop with her husband. Vogue, "Tatiana Baibabaeva Is Infusing Slow Fashion with Sensuality, One Macramé Dress at a Time," 31 May 2018 On my doorstep was a petite, middle-aged Hispanic woman in a pink Gap sweatshirt and leggings. Amanda Needham, Washington Post, "I posted a huge note for the thief who stole my bike. Then my doorbell rang.," 16 Mar. 2018 Featuring options for men and women, as well as maternity, plus-sized and petites, clients can receive Fixes automatically or schedule them on-demand, with a variety of styles to choose from for all budgets -- plus free shipping and returns. NBC News, "A subscription box for every single person on your list," 20 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'petite.' 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 petite


1784, in the meaning defined above


1926, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for petite


French, feminine of petit

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Statistics for petite

Last Updated

14 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for petite

The first known use of petite was in 1784

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More Definitions for petite



English Language Learners Definition of petite

: having a small and thin body


pe·​tite | \ pə-ˈtēt \

Kids Definition of petite

: having a small trim figure

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More from Merriam-Webster on petite

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with petite

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for petite

Spanish Central: Translation of petite

Nglish: Translation of petite for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of petite for Arabic Speakers

Comments on petite

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


very full or close together

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