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pe·​tite pə-ˈtēt How to pronounce petite (audio)
: having a small trim figure
usually used of a woman
petiteness noun


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: a clothing size for short women

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
But rather than the beautiful, petite winged woman of Disney's iteration, this fairy looks more like a sphinx. Christian Holub,, 9 Nov. 2022 Its comparatively petite stature is complemented by passive rear-wheel steering to improve turning radius at low speeds; the system allows the rear wheels to turn in the opposite direction of the front tires. Matt Crisara, Popular Mechanics, 15 Nov. 2022 Susan Howe was petite, and wore dark clogs and wool sweaters in the winter to keep warm. Laura Crimaldi,, 1 Oct. 2022 One morning in June 2020, Meenakshi Sajeesh, a shy and petite woman in her 20s with wavy black hair hanging past her waist, got into her father’s auto rickshaw. Time, 6 Oct. 2022 Popular online fashion brand ASOS has inclusive sizing options including curve, petite and of course, tall! Raena Loper, Good Housekeeping, 28 Apr. 2022 Monterroso is 55 and petite, with youthful bangs and hair clipped back by tiny jeweled barrettes. New York Times, 26 Apr. 2022 This pair is available in a range of sizes with regular, petite and plus-sizes with two inseams. Emma Seymour, Good Housekeeping, 24 Oct. 2022 Best of all, this versatile essential is flattering and comfortable, and comes in standard, petite, and plus size offerings, so no one is left behind. Jennifer Chan, Peoplemag, 23 Aug. 2022
The public was overwhelmingly in favor of the Type C, which really put the petite in Petit Le Mans. Brendan Mcaleer, Car and Driver, 7 Oct. 2022 Though petite, this detangling brush still packs a punch. Catharine Malzahn, Good Housekeeping, 26 July 2022 Knightley and her husband James Righton joined Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lucy Boynton, and Sigourney Weaver at the seasonal showcase of the painstakingly detailed work of the house’s petite-mains. Alice Newbold, Vogue, 5 July 2022 Burton is the kind of petite that most brands consider to be off the big-sales spectrum. Kelly Bastone, Outside Online, 23 Apr. 2019 Five sizes are produced, a toro, robusto grande, lancero, corona gorda and a petite. Richard Carleton Hacker, Robb Report, 17 Nov. 2021 First, Williams-Adir bought a .32 Beretta, a gun petite enough to fit comfortably in her hands. Washington Post, 10 July 2021 And while mini bags may not be an unfamiliar silhouette by now, this summer’s versions bring a practical element despite being extra petite. Madeline Fass, Vogue, 14 June 2021 The pair have plans to further expand the Journelle brand this year to cater to more body types including petite and maternity. Meggen Taylor, Forbes, 11 Mar. 2021 See More

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.

Word History



French, feminine of petit

First Known Use


1784, in the meaning defined above


1926, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of petite was in 1784

Dictionary Entries Near petite

Cite this Entry

“Petite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



: having a small trim figure
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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