Definition of paltry in English:

paltry

adjective

  • 1(of an amount) very small or meagre:

    ‘she would earn a paltry £33 more a month’
    • ‘He described the 12.7m that will go towards education programmes as a paltry amount.’
    • ‘But it's still going to be paltry amounts whichever way you slice it.’
    • ‘Last year trade between China and Russia amounted to a paltry $5.7 billion.’
    • ‘It still represents a paltry amount to live on, but is nevertheless something which should have been done a long time ago.’
    • ‘They want to take the music channels to the court for paying paltry amounts for playing their music.’
    • ‘This paltry bit extra will soon be used up once the council tax bill arrives.’
    • ‘The first period totalled up a paltry amount of three genuine opportunities.’
    • ‘This paltry amount isn't even enough to heat a cup of coffee, let alone travel to another planet.’
    • ‘When someone offered him a paltry amount to take the business off his hands, however, Hughes realised he was not about to give up that easily.’
    • ‘Until two years ago, we had resources so paltry that it amounted to criminal negligence.’
    • ‘The council says the reason it has had to make cuts is because it has received a paltry amount of grant from the Government.’
    • ‘Not only is the monetary compensation being offered by the government a paltry amount, but inflation will erode its value over time.’
    • ‘Over the past few years sales have rocketed, as people look for a safe home for their investments in the face of turbulent stock markets and paltry interest rates.’
    • ‘Though the battle of wills between the two of them is the focus of the film, it generates a paltry amount of drama.’
    • ‘The only concessions remained limited to some paltry oversight additions.’
    • ‘The paltry sum of Raith's first-half efforts amounted to one shot off target and a corner kick.’
    • ‘There is some insurance available, although the amount of coverage is paltry.’
    • ‘The loss of such a paltry amount on its own wouldn't have much impact on the oil market, experts say.’
    • ‘Players should not have to sell their marketing rights for paltry sums.’
    • ‘But the question to pose is, how far can one go using his or her own paltry resources in these hard economic times?’
    small, meagre, trifling, insignificant, negligible, inadequate, insufficient, scant, scanty, derisory, pitiful, pitiable, pathetic, miserable, sorry, wretched, puny, trivial, niggardly, beggarly, mean, ungenerous, inappreciable, mere
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    1. 1.1 Petty; trivial:
      ‘naval glory struck him as paltry’
      • ‘He was our coachman, and my father once had him arrested, on account of some paltry offence, for twenty-four hours.’
      • ‘What would I need with your paltry glory?’
      worthless, petty, trivial, unimportant, insignificant, inconsequential, of little account, of little consequence, meaningless, negligible, nugatory, minor, footling, contemptible
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Origin

Mid 16th century: apparently based on dialect pelt ‘rubbish, especially rags’; compare with Low German paltrig ragged.

Pronunciation

paltry

/ˈpɒltri//ˈpɔːltri/