- 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.
petty definition by Webster's New World
- 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: Middle English pety ; from Old French petit ; from an unverified form pit-, little ; from baby talk
petty definition by American Heritage Dictionary
adjective pet·ti·er, pet·ti·est
- Of small importance; trivial: a petty grievance.
- Marked by narrowness of mind, ideas, or views.
- Marked by meanness or lack of generosity, especially in trifling matters.
- Secondary in importance or rank; subordinate. See Synonyms at trivial.
- Law Variant of petit.
Origin: Middle English peti, from Old French, variant of petit; see petit.
- petˈti·ly adverb
- petˈti·ness noun