Adjective "Petty" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Of little importance; trivial.
  1. 'It is perhaps because these matters are so petty and trivial in appearance that they afford so excellent a training.'
  2. 'Then there are the petty differences in industrial standards and regulations from country to country.'
  3. 'Though he strongly disagreed with it, Undran had been known to explode once in a while towards petty matters such as scratches on car doors or streaks on the windows.'
  4. 'Harmony is created when we treat one another, and ourselves, with respect and when we put aside our petty concerns for the good of the whole.'
  5. 'She didn't understand why she was upset over a petty matter such as this.'
  6. 'It diminishes the importance of real problems if they are lumped together with petty complaints.'
  7. 'I've already experienced, in a very minor way, the petty rules that are an everyday fact of life in Iran.'
  8. 'For that matter, why these petty distinctions between clothing and food, sporting goods and home decor?'
  9. 'When I wasn't talking to Reger, I was dealing hundreds of small petty matters concerning the ceremony.'
  10. 'They must ignore politicians who thrive on petty and sensational matters.'
  11. 'she thought readers were being petty in writing to complain about blocked paths'
  12. 'Dropping the appeal to the privy council was a matter of petty nationalist self aggrandisement.'
  13. 'One whinge that may be a bit petty concerns the thermal paste.'
  14. 'The president's closest advisor recklessly betrays a state secret for petty revenge.'
  15. 'Call it small minded and petty, or just a harmless example of traditional rivalry, but the majority of Scots will take great pleasure in watching England under-achieve in the Far East.'
  16. 'The world of the film swings between petty, spiteful, foolish and resigned.'
  17. 'By the time I reached home I had to admit that I'd been small, petty and spiteful.'
  18. 'But Chaudhuri insisted that neither his views, nor any one else's, would have caused Nehru to wreak a petty act of revenge.'
  19. 'No matter how childish, no matter how petty or wrong she'd been I was always on her side.'
  20. 'Even in the advertising industry, it seems that you have to show small-minded, petty acts of vandalism to get noticed.'
  21. 'As such, he is the object of much spiteful envy and petty jealousy from members opposite.'
Of secondary or lesser importance, rank, or scale; minor.
  1. 'Now, I can't even tempt a minor secretarial official with a petty bribe.'
  2. 'The meager funds provided by government for medical facilities in rural areas are squandered away by local petty officials.'
  3. 'In the British sphere of influence, however, what the Queen does and says is proper by definition so she does not have to worry about petty would-be dictators.'
  4. 'They are beggars, petty thieves and minor dealers.'
  5. 'Nearly all were poor, young and single convicted for petty crimes, usually theft.'
  6. 'Smaller crimes like petty theft, and burglary were common, but not murder.'


1. of little or no importance or consequence: petty grievances.

2. of lesser or secondary importance, merit, etc.; minor: petty considerations.

3. having or showing narrow ideas, interests, etc.: petty minds.

4. mean or ungenerous in small or trifling things: a petty person.

5. showing or caused by meanness of spirit: a petty revenge.

6. of secondary rank, especially in relation to others of the same class or kind: petty states; a petty tyrant.|

More examples(as adjective)

"readers can be petty in writings."

"departments can be petty in things."

"officers can be petty."

"crimes can be petty."

"cashs can be petty."

More examples++


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘small in size’): from a phonetic spelling of the pronunciation of French petit ‘small’. Compare with petit.