puny

adjective
pu·​ny | \ ˈpyü-nē \
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 \ adverb
puniness \ ˈpyü-​nē-​nəs \ 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

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 Or even one of those weird, puny, overcooked Kix bits found at the bottom of the cereal box. Marci Robin, Allure, "Beauty Mark Makeover: Why I Chose to Reduce the Size of My Mole Instead of Getting It Removed," 13 July 2018 Gear: rear-entry Salomon boots, puny Rossignol slalom skis, and bindings cranked to eleven. Nick Paumgarten, Outside Online, "Nick Paumgarten on the Thrill of His First Daffy," 11 July 2018 This act — this graceless, puny act — insults both the democratic ideal and the sporting ideal. Marcus Hayes, Philly.com, "Trump dumps Eagles because, to him, size matters | Marcus Hayes," 4 June 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

2 Dec 2018

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

: small and weak

: not very large, impressive, or effective

puny

adjective
pu·​ny | \ ˈpyü-nē \
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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tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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