Definition of pettiness in US English:

pettiness

noun

  • 1Undue concern with trivial matters, especially of a small-minded or spiteful nature.

    ‘the sheer pettiness of the officials was quite startling’
    count noun ‘try to overlook insults and pettinesses’
    • ‘We all experience times of feeling mightily right and dismissing dissent as small-minded pettiness.’
    • ‘They create a portrait of a rural community filled with pettiness and cruelty.’
    • ‘Everything about her was grand, even her pettiness.’
    • ‘The film captured the pettiness, bitchiness, and downright surrealism of working in an office.’
    • ‘Every moment I spent within the city limits caused me to hate the pettiness of the townsfolk even more.’
    • ‘Youth is no excuse for pettiness.’
    • ‘His was by no means the only example of academicians' pettiness.’
    • ‘The council is inefficient and bogged down in its own process of faction fighting and pettiness.’
    • ‘In the public sphere, it became a criticism, denoting an excessive egoism and pettiness that precluded a consideration of the greater good.’
    • ‘Learning how to rise above the pettiness, disagreements, and judgements establishes in you a love for all humanity.’
    1. 1.1 Lack of importance or worth; triviality.
      ‘these awesome moments lift us above the pettiness of the world’
      • ‘Twain's Puritan pessimism casts great doubt on humanity's ability to transcend the pettiness of human existence.’
      • ‘What we're watching is the long-running victory of ballet itself over that pettiness and disarray known as being human.’
      • ‘Life on board ship, with the pettiness of its human hierarchy in miniature, makes him all the more certain that the sea is beyond all that.’
      • ‘I sometimes think it must be some sinister conspiracy designed just to freak men out with the sheer, dazzling pettiness of it.’
      • ‘Finally, someone out there saw beyond the pettiness.’
      • ‘His sensibility transforms the squalor and pettiness of crime into the grandeur of desolation.’
      • ‘When I look for my profoundest opposite, the incalculable pettiness of my instincts, I always find my mother and my sister.’
      • ‘With new clarity, he sees the pettiness and futility of his life.’
      • ‘Whitman hoped that the tedium and pettiness of his senior years would not infect his poetry.’
      • ‘The play still shocks with the pettiness of the offences that have brought the convicts to the flogger or the hangman.’

Pronunciation

pettiness

/ˈpɛdinəs//ˈpedēnəs/