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

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 Under Promise, students who commit petty vandalism or theft, harassment, fight or other minor crimes or violations are referred to the off-campus program for two to 10 days. Nicole Darrah, Fox News, "Parkland shooting suspect's mom let him buy gun despite mental health counselors' pushback, official says," 10 July 2018 Both sides have degraded the public trust with petty payback and childish behavior. kansascity, "Jean Paul Bradshaw," 30 June 2018 This particular paper brought down petty crooks and prideful barons and, most recently, a chancellor. Chris Erskine, latimes.com, "As we pack up, a bittersweet ode to a workplace that was my second home," 29 June 2018 But City Hall has shown it can't be trusted with all the petty political fights and utter failure to fix the 911 system years ago. Jason Williams, Cincinnati.com, "PX column: Why Ron Plush is keeping the pressure on Cincinnati City Hall," 14 June 2018 But behind this legal machine are often bizarre court cases full of petty criminals, old-fashioned gumshoe detectives, and... robots who want civil rights. Annalee Newitz, Ars Technica, "Bay Area: Join us 6/13 to discuss the past, present, and future of tech law," 11 June 2018 In a response that smacked of petty political opportunism, Trump disinvited the team, and in doing so, portrayed the tiff as a referendum on the national anthem, a centuries-old song whose lyrics many Americans don’t even know. Solomon Jones, Philly.com, "Dear President Trump, leave the Eagles and their long-suffering fans out of your political theater | Solomon Jones," 5 June 2018 Under the Promise Program, students who commit minor crimes or conduct violations like minor vandalism, petty theft, harassment and fighting are referred to the off-campus program for two-to-10 days, depending on the offense's severity. Terry Spencer, chicagotribune.com, "Official: Parkland school shooting suspect's mom let him buy gun," 10 July 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

Phrases Related to petty

petty bourgeois

petty bourgeoisie

petty theft

Statistics for petty

Last Updated

14 Oct 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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Comments on petty

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