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 of puny from the Web
A relatively puny $240 million break clause shouldn’t be a deterrent for others to kick the tires.
Efforts over the past eight years to slow the North down and prevent it from achieving this goal, relying on a mix of puny sticks and carrots plus otherwise trying to ignore the problem, have been unsuccessful.
New York magazine’s Annie Lowrey dismissed the raises as puny.
But everyone seems rather puny, compared with Mr. Langella’s André, which is the intention.
There is nothing exceptional about it, not even the pale and puny excuses for it.
When a radar gun's signal is detected, the Mirage changes the Doppler wave pattern from smooth and predictable to erratic, confusing the gun's puny CPU brain.
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.
Origin and Etymology of puny
Anglo-French puisné younger, weakly, literally, born afterward, from puis afterward + né born
First Known Use: circa 1577See Words from the same year
PUNY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of puny for English Language Learners
: small and weak
: not very large, impressive, or effective
PUNY Defined for Kids
Definition of puny for Students
1 : small and weak in size or power
2 : not very impressive or effective My boss gave me a puny raise.
History for puny
In medieval French puisné, literally, “born afterward,” was used to mean “younger” when talking about two people. Borrowed into English, puisne and the phonetic spelling puny came to be used of anyone in a position of less importance than another. By the time of the playwright William Shakespeare puny no longer suggested relative rank, but had come to mean “weak” or “feeble”—a meaning the word retains today.
Seen and Heard
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