Definition of Petty

1. Noun. Larceny of property having a value less than some amount (the amount varies by locale).

Exact synonyms: Petit Larceny, Petty Larceny
Generic synonyms: Larceny, Stealing, Theft, Thievery, Thieving
Antonyms: Grand Larceny

2. Adjective. Inferior in rank or status. "A subordinate functionary"
Exact synonyms: Junior-grade, Lower-ranking, Lowly, Secondary, Subaltern
Similar to: Junior
Derivative terms: Pettiness, Subaltern

3. Adjective. (informal) small and of little importance. "Giving a police officer a free meal may be against the law, but it seems to be a picayune infraction"

4. Adjective. Contemptibly narrow in outlook. "Disgusted with their small-minded pettiness"
Exact synonyms: Small-minded
Similar to: Narrow, Narrow-minded
Derivative terms: Pettiness

Definition of Petty

1. a. Little; trifling; inconsiderable; also, inferior; subordinate; as, a petty fault; a petty prince.

Definition of Petty

1. Adjective. (''obsolete except in set phrases'') little, small, secondary in rank or importance ¹

2. Adjective. insignificant, trifling, or inconsiderable ¹

3. Adjective. narrow-minded, small-minded ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Petty

1. insignificant [adj -TIER, -TIEST] - See also: insignificant

Lexicographical Neighbors of Petty

petting zoo
petty (current term)
petty apartheid
petty bourgeoisie
petty bourgeoisies
petty cash
petty criticism
petty juror
petty jury
petty larcenies
petty larceny
petty morel
petty officer

Literary usage of Petty

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Proceedings of the United States Naval Institute by United States Naval Institute (1903)
"For example, all line petty officers should be obliged to conduct the drills, ... I refer to the corps of petty officers and leading men. ..."

2. Commentaries on the Laws of England by William Blackstone, William Carey Jones (1915)
"Constables are of two sorts, high constables, and petty constables. ... 17 The petty constables are inferior officers in every town and parish, ..."

3. A History of English Law by William Searle Holdsworth, John Burke (1903)
"It seems however to have been thought that some of those who had presented the accused should be placed upon the petty jury with a view to secure a ..."

4. Notes on Nursing: What it Is, and what it is Not by Florence Nightingale (1912)
"petty MANAGEMENT. All the results of good nursing, as detailed in these petty ... in petty management, or in other words, by not knowing how to manage that ..."

5. Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Court of King's Bench by Great Britain Court of King's Bench, John Leycester Adolphus (1837)
"shall think expedient (except as hereinafter mentioned); and upon any vacancy in the office of any such assistant petty constable, by death, resignation, ..."

6. South Eastern Reporter by West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, West Publishing Company, South Carolina Supreme Court (1912)
"If the parol authority given petty by Mrs. Van Winkle was sufficient to authorize the former to make a written contract for the eale of the land binding on ..."

7. The Book of Days: A Miscellany of Popular Antiquities in Connection with the by Robert Chambers (1832)
"In the very curious autobiographical preamble petty attached to his will, ... petty, during this sojourn on the continent, supported and educated a younger ..."

Other Resources:

Search for Petty on!Search for Petty on!Search for Petty on Google!Search for Petty on Wikipedia!