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See also: Petty

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EnglishEdit

 
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EtymologyEdit

From Middle English pety, from Middle French petit, English since the late 14th century. The disparaging meaning developed over the 16th century.

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

petty (comparative pettier or more petty, superlative pettiest or most petty)

  1. (obsolete except in set phrases) Little, small, secondary in rank or importance.
    petty officer, petty cash
    • 1671, John Milton, Samson Agonistes
      Like a petty god I walked about, admired of all.
  2. Insignificant, trifling, or inconsiderable.
    a petty fault
    • 2018 February, Robert Draper, “They are Watching You—and Everything Else on the Planet: Technology and Our Increasing Demand for Security have Put Us All under Surveillance. Is Privacy Becoming just a Memory?”, in National Geographic[1], Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, ISSN 0027-9358, OCLC 1049714034, archived from the original on 14 June 2018:
      Later today in Finsbury Park, the cameras would spend hours panning across 35,000 festivalgoers in search of pickpockets, drunken brawlers, and other assorted agents of petty mischief.
  3. Narrow-minded, small-minded.
  4. Begrudging in nature, especially over insignificant matters.
    That corporation is only slightly pettier than they are greedy, and they are overdue to reap the consequences.

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NounEdit

petty (plural petties)

  1. (usually in the plural, obsolete) A little schoolboy, either in grade or size.
  2. (now historical) A class or school for young schoolboys.
  3. (dialect, euphemistic) An outhouse: an outbuilding used as a lavatory.

SynonymsEdit

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