Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old French
Origin: peti 'small'


1 a petty problem, detail etc is small and unimportant [= trivial]:
petty squabbles
petty restrictions
2 unkind and caring too much about small unimportant things:
How can she be so petty?
petty jealousy and spitefulness

petty crime

SCC a crime that is not serious, for example stealing things that are not very valuable

petty criminal/thief etc

a criminal whose crimes are not very serious
5 a petty official is not important - used especially when they use their power as if they were important:
Some petty bureaucrat wanted all the documents in triplicate.
pettiness noun [uncountable]
the pettiness of Hollywood

Dictionary results for "petty"
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