petty

adjective
pet·​ty | \ˈpe-tē \
pettier; pettiest

Definition of petty 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having secondary rank or importance : minor, subordinate

2 : having little or no importance or significance

3 : marked by or reflective of narrow interests and sympathies : small-minded

Petty

biographical name
Pet·​ty | \ˈpe-tē \

Definition of Petty (Entry 2 of 2)

Sir William 1623–1687 English political economist

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Other Words from petty

Adjective

pettily \ˈpe-​tə-​lē \ adverb
pettiness \ˈpe-​tē-​nəs \ noun

Examples of petty in a Sentence

Adjective

a petty argument about grammar My behavior was petty and stupid. I apologize.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

So much of our politics, our public life, our public discourse can seem small and mean and petty. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Read the Full Transcript of Barack Obama's Speech at John McCain's Funeral," 1 Sep. 2018 With the entire war wrapped up by the end of the first movie, the second movie just features Hawkeye back on Earth, getting into petty slap-fights with Justin Hammer in another malfunctioning knockoff Iron Man suit. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "What’s the secret title of Avengers: Infinity War 2?," 6 Apr. 2018 House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., and House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes, R-Calif., – issued a joint statement saying the memos reveal Comey as a petty person with a grudge against Trump. Anchorage Daily News, "Comey memos offer new details on his interactions with Trump as probe intensified," 20 Apr. 2018 Music is very powerful and healing and kind of erases the petty disagreements. Annie Alleman, Naperville Sun, "Rosanne Cash brings some new music to McAninch show," 3 Apr. 2018 Those criticisms seemed especially petty as the Yankees ran up an a 6-0 lead over the Atlanta Braves through four innings on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium. Wallace Matthews, New York Times, "Yankees Display Their Flaws, but Still Beat the Braves," 3 July 2018 Leaving it off this list of local winners just seems petty. Peter Rowe, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Winning the World: Local brewers take global honors," 10 May 2018 And yet inviting him to weigh in on the President, from his looks to his general fitness for service, based on traits that we the audience know as well as Comey does, seems somewhat petty. Daniel D'addario, Time, "James Comey Met President Trump on His Own Terms – and Came Away Looking Smaller," 16 Apr. 2018 He was known to local authorities as a repeat offender involved in petty crime and drugs. Fox News, "Belgian justice minister rejects calls to quit over killings," 1 June 2018

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

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for petty

Adjective

Middle English pety small, minor, alteration of petit

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Dictionary Entries near petty

pettiskirt

pettitoes

pettle

petty

Petty

petty average

petty bag

Statistics for petty

Last Updated

25 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for petty

The first known use of petty was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for petty

petty

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of petty

: not very important or serious

: relating to things that are not very important or serious

: committing crimes that are not very serious

petty

adjective
pet·​ty | \ˈpe-tē \
pettier; pettiest

Kids Definition of petty

1 : small and of no importance Don't worry about the petty details.

2 : showing or having a mean narrow-minded attitude

Other Words from petty

pettiness \ˈpe-​tē-​nəs \ noun

petty

adjective
pet·​ty | \ˈpe-tē \

Legal Definition of petty 

: relatively minor in degree a petty offense punishable by not more than six months in prison — compare grand

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More from Merriam-Webster on petty

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with petty

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for petty

Spanish Central: Translation of petty

Nglish: Translation of petty for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of petty for Arabic Speakers

Comments on petty

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