having or showing a tendency to be small-minded or resentful over trivial matters


US English

UK English

Part of speech



trivial, small-minded, narrow-minded, trifling, petty-minded, pettish, paltry


big-minded, generous, unselfish, noble

Example sentences

  • The manager’s petty concerns over minor details is driving everyone crazy.
  • It’s a petty argument over who left the dish in the sink.
  • The senator was criticized for his petty objections to the bill.


Petty is an adjective used to describe something that is small and insignificant, often used to describe behavior that is trivial or narrow-minded. It can also refer to a person who is petty-minded, someone who is overly concerned with minor details or who becomes angry or resentful over trivial matters. For example, a petty argument is one that is over something small and unimportant, while a petty person is someone who is easily upset or who finds fault in things that aren’t really worth getting upset about