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

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 Florida Today reports that 40-year-old Charles Folk was arrested Thursday morning and charged with petty theft. Fox News, "Florida man sent back to jail after not paying for taxi ride home from jail," 28 June 2018 Simmons and Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell had a pretty public and pretty petty battle for the award, which included Adidas going all out to help push Mitchell. Khadrice Rollins, SI.com, "Basketball Twitter Achieved Peak Pettiness During NBA Awards," 26 June 2018 The football club looks extra petty, considering FC Cincinnati owner Carl H. Lindner III and his group of investors are paying $200 million of their own money to build the futbol club's new stadium in West End. Jason Williams, Cincinnati.com, "PX column: Bengals' threat reminds us they're not about being good corporate citizens," 6 June 2018 In short, he was moved by something more rational than pique and less petty than resentment. William Anthony Hay, WSJ, "‘The Tragedy of Benedict Arnold’ and ‘Turncoat’ Review: His Own Worst Enemy," 24 May 2018 Kate literally links arms with Meghan to rescue her from the same petty AF mean girls, this time going after her age (35 going on 36). Elizabeth Holmes, Town & Country, "Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance," 14 May 2018 From shrimp to mango mousse, food has long been a diplomatic weapon in the arena of the complex, fraught and sometimes petty geopolitics of East Asia. Gavin Blair, latimes.com, "It's not just dessert: On eve of Korea summit, a mango mousse's map throws Japan out of joint," 26 Apr. 2018 The media's mounting allegations against Scott Pruitt ranging from petty to profound have led to 14 investigations. Fox News, "Media's Supreme Court scrutiny," 9 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

16 Sep 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

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

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