puny

adjective
pu·​ny | \ ˈpyü-nē How to pronounce puny (audio) \
punier; puniest

Definition of puny

: slight or inferior in power, size, or importance : weak

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Other Words from puny

punily \ ˈpyü-​nə-​lē How to pronounce punily (audio) \ adverb
puniness \ ˈpyü-​nē-​nəs How to pronounce puniness (audio) \ noun

Examples of puny in a Sentence

I wouldn't mess with him—he makes bodybuilders look puny in comparison. We laughed at their puny attempt to trick us.

Recent Examples on the Web

The swinging lights are sensational in the theater, giving a sense of both climax and danger, but on the broadcast the technique came across as sort of puny. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "The Best and Worst of the 2019 Tony Awards," 10 June 2019 WIMPs, despite their puny name, are thought to have a mass as much as a thousand times more than standard matter’s protons. Joe Lindsey, Popular Mechanics, "Filling the Void: What Is Dark Matter?," 28 May 2019 The age of press barons had not yet yielded to a generation of communication moguls whose technology would unleash a torrent of information and entertainment to make print seem puny. Les Hinton, WSJ, "Five Best: Les Hinton on the Giants of the Press," 28 Dec. 2018 Three qubits is puny compared to other quantum computers. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "An intermediary between qubits provides basis for control and scaling," 25 Nov. 2018 But the ever-increasing jackpots have left them ever-more dependent on those massive payouts because prizes that once seemed so immense now seem almost puny in comparison. Scott Mcfetridge, The Seattle Times, "Mega Millions jackpot hits $1.6B, thanks to worsening odds," 22 Oct. 2018 At $592 a month, the average Russian salary is puny. Leon Aron, WSJ, "Russian Pensions and the Risk of War," 16 Oct. 2018 That the barrel is 17 feet long and still looks puny gives an idea of just how big the turret is. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "How Nato Will Upgrade Its Tanks To Keep Pace With Russia," 30 May 2016 What’s clinically denoted by the word ‘bi-polarity’ is something puny compared to what’s brandished by Sabbath. The Economist, "Philip Roth was one of America’s greatest novelists," 23 May 2018

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

circa 1577, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for puny

Anglo-French puisné younger, weakly, literally, born afterward, from puis afterward + born

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Dictionary Entries near puny

punto

punty

Punuk

puny

punya

pup

pupa

Statistics for puny

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for puny

The first known use of puny was circa 1577

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More Definitions for puny

puny

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of puny

somewhat informal
: small and weak
: not very large, impressive, or effective

puny

adjective
pu·​ny | \ ˈpyü-nē How to pronounce puny (audio) \
punier; puniest

Kids Definition of puny

1 : small and weak in size or power
2 : not very impressive or effective My boss gave me a puny raise.

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More from Merriam-Webster on puny

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with puny

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for puny

Spanish Central: Translation of puny

Nglish: Translation of puny for Spanish Speakers

Comments on puny

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