- Petty is defined as something relatively worthless or unimportant.
An example of petty is cash kept on hand for very small purchases.
- The definition of petty is someone who gets caught up in small details.
An example of petty is a person who gets very angry when someone accidentally steps on their foot.
- Petty means a lower-ranking member of the military.
An example of petty is a private to a lieutenant.
- relatively worthless or unimportant; trivial; insignificant
- small-scale; minor
- having or showing a tendency to make much of small matters
- small-minded; mean, narrow, ungenerous, etc.
- relatively low in rank; subordinate
Origin of pettyMiddle English pety ; from Old French petit ; from an unverified form pit-, little ; from baby talk
- Of small importance; trivial: a petty grievance. See Synonyms at trivial.
- Narrow-minded or ungenerous, especially in trifling matters: petty partisanship.
- a. Of lesser importance or rank; subordinate: a petty prince.b. Law Variant of petit.
Origin of pettyMiddle English peti, from Old French, variant of petit; see petit.
(comparative pettier or more petty, superlative pettiest or most petty)
From Middle French petit, English since the late 14th century. The disparaging meaning develops during the 16th century.