Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “petty”


adjective     /ˈpet.i/ US  /ˈpet̬-/ disapproving
C2 [before noun] not important and not worth giving attention to: Prisoners complain that they are subjected to too many petty rules and restrictions.Of little or less importance [after noun] complaining too much about things that are not important: Don't be so petty!ComplainingNarrow-minded pettiness     /-nəs/ noun [U] It was the pettiness of their arguments that irritated her.Narrow-minded
(Definition of petty adjective from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of petty

Definitions of “petty” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


the skill with which something was made or done

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More