Petty is an adjective that is commonly used to describe something or someone of small importance, significance, or relevance. It refers to trivial, insignificant, or particularly narrow-minded matters. It is often associated with behaviors or attitudes that focus on minor details or concerns, displaying a lack of understanding or concern for larger, more essential issues.
In terms of personal characteristics, petty individuals tend to be overly concerned with trivial matters, displaying an excessive attention to detail that inhibits their ability to see the bigger picture. They often hold grudges over trivial offenses, seeking to provoke or retaliate in an unwarranted manner. Petty behavior is characterized by an overemphasis on minor frustrations, leading to unnecessary arguments, conflicts, or disputes.
Furthermore, the term "petty" can also be used to describe actions or decisions that are small-minded, vindictive, or mean-spirited. In a professional setting, a petty act might involve sabotaging a colleague's work or spreading malicious rumors. In politics, petty disagreements can hinder progress on meaningful issues, as they divert attention and resources towards less significant matters.
Overall, "petty" is a term used to describe behaviors, attitudes, actions, or decisions characterized by their triviality, narrow-mindedness, or lack of importance. It is often associated with a failure to recognize or address larger or more significant concerns.
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The word petty originated from Old French petit meaning small, little. It can be traced back to Latin petitus, the past participle of petere, which means to go to, seek, request.