A paltry serving of peas.
An example of something that would be described as paltry is a serving of food that is only half a teaspoon.
Origin of paltryprobably from Low German paltrig, ragged from palte, a rag
- Lacking in importance or worth. See Synonyms at trivial.
- Very small or inadequate in amount; negligible: was paid a paltry sum for his work.
- Marked by meanness or lack of generosity; contemptible: “I would far rather burn my whole book, than that he or any other man should think that I had behaved in a paltry spirit” ( Charles Darwin )
Origin of paltryProbably from obsolete and dialectal paltry trash perhaps from Low German paltrig ragged from palte rag
(comparative paltrier, superlative paltriest)
- Nouns to which "paltry" is often applied: sum, rate, amount, number, price, salary, wages, fellow, pay, excuse, income, gain, compensation.
From Middle Low German paltrig (“ragged, rubbishy, worthless"), from palter, palte (“cloth, rag, shred"), from Old Saxon *paltro, *palto (“cloth, rag"), from Proto-Germanic *paltrÃ´, *paltÃ´ (“scrap, rag, patch"). Cognate with Eastern Frisian palterig (“ragged, torn"), German dialectal palterig (“paltry"). Compare also Low German palte (“rag"), West Frisian palt (“rag"), German dialectal Palter (“rag"), Danish pjalt (“rag, tatter"), Swedish palta (“rag"). See also palterly.