Definition of paltry in US English:

paltry

adjective

  • 1(of an amount) small or meager.

    ‘she would earn a paltry $33 more each month’
    • ‘Players should not have to sell their marketing rights for paltry sums.’
    • ‘They want to take the music channels to the court for paying paltry amounts for playing their music.’
    • ‘The council says the reason it has had to make cuts is because it has received a paltry amount of grant from the Government.’
    • ‘The paltry sum of Raith's first-half efforts amounted to one shot off target and a corner kick.’
    • ‘But the question to pose is, how far can one go using his or her own paltry resources in these hard economic times?’
    • ‘Though the battle of wills between the two of them is the focus of the film, it generates a paltry amount of drama.’
    • ‘Until two years ago, we had resources so paltry that it amounted to criminal negligence.’
    • ‘The loss of such a paltry amount on its own wouldn't have much impact on the oil market, experts say.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But it's still going to be paltry amounts whichever way you slice it.’
    • ‘There is some insurance available, although the amount of coverage is paltry.’
    • ‘It still represents a paltry amount to live on, but is nevertheless something which should have been done a long time ago.’
    • ‘Not only is the monetary compensation being offered by the government a paltry amount, but inflation will erode its value over time.’
    • ‘This paltry bit extra will soon be used up once the council tax bill arrives.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The first period totalled up a paltry amount of three genuine opportunities.’
    • ‘He described the 12.7m that will go towards education programmes as a paltry amount.’
    • ‘Last year trade between China and Russia amounted to a paltry $5.7 billion.’
    • ‘This paltry amount isn't even enough to heat a cup of coffee, let alone travel to another planet.’
    • ‘The only concessions remained limited to some paltry oversight additions.’
    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
      View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation

paltry

/ˈpɔltri//ˈpôltrē/