What does paltry mean?

Definitions for paltry
ˈpɔl tripal·t·ry

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word paltry.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. negligible, paltry, triflingadjective

    not worth considering

    "he considered the prize too paltry for the lives it must cost"; "piffling efforts"; "a trifling matter"

  2. measly, miserable, paltryadjective

    contemptibly small in amount

    "a measly tip"; "the company donated a miserable $100 for flood relief"; "a paltry wage"; "almost depleted his miserable store of dried beans"


  1. paltryadjective

    trashy, trivial, of little value

  2. paltryadjective

    meager; worthless; pitiful; trifling

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. PALTRYadjective

    Sorry; worthless; despicable; contemptible; mean.

    Etymology: poltron, French; a scoundrel; paltrocca, a low whore, Italian.

    Then turn your forces from this paltry siege,
    And stir them up against a mightier task. William Shakespeare.

    A very dishonest paltry boy, as appears in leaving his friend here in necessity, and denying him. William Shakespeare.

    Whose compost is paltry and carried too late,
    Such husbandry useth that many do hate. Thomas Tusser, Husb.

    For knights are bound to feel no blows,
    From paltry and unequal foes. Hudibras, p. iii.

    It is an ill habit to squander away our wishes upon paltry fooleries. Roger L'Estrange, Fab. 140.

    When such paltry slaves presume
    To mix in treason, if the plot succeeds,
    They’re thrown neglected by; but if it fails,
    They’re sure to die like dogs. Joseph Addison, Cato.


  1. paltry

    Paltry generally refers to something that is small, meager or insignificant in amount, size or worth. It can be used to describe anything considered to be inferior, trivial or of poor quality.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Paltry

    mean; vile; worthless; despicable; contemptible; pitiful; trifling; as, a paltry excuse; paltry gold

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Paltry

    pawl′tri, adj. mean: vile: worthless.—adv. Pal′trily.—n. Pal′triness. [Teut.; Dan. pialter, rags, Low Ger. paltrig, ragged.]

Anagrams for paltry »

  1. partly

  2. raptly

How to pronounce paltry?

How to say paltry in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of paltry in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of paltry in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of paltry in a Sentence

  1. Demosthenes:

    You cannot have a proud and chivalrous spirit if your conduct is mean and paltry for whatever a man's actions are, such must be his spirit.

  2. Mike Pompeo:

    I look forward to seeing them fulfill that $2-billion commitment, china's contributions to fighting the pandemic are paltry, compared to the cost that they have imposed on the world.

  3. Walter Scott:

    One hour of life, crowded to the full with glorious action, and filled with noble risks, is worth whole years of those mean observances of paltry decorum, in which men steal through existence, like sluggish waters through a marsh, without either honor or observation.

  4. Troy Gayeski:

    If you're a longer-term investor, you still have to like your equities exposure more than fixed-income exposure, where you basically have no upside at this point and your earnings are your paltry yield.

  5. Arthur Schopenhauer:

    How very paltry and limited the normal human intellect is, and how little lucidity there is in the human consciousness, may be judged from the fact that, despite the ephemeral brevity of human life, the uncertainty of our existence and the countless enigmas which press upon us from all sides, everyone does not continually and ceaselessly philosophize, but that only the rarest of exceptions do.

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Translations for paltry

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • ισχνόςGreek
  • چرت و پرتPersian
  • mitätön, surkeaFinnish
  • dérisoire, misérableFrench
  • irrisorio, modesto, insufficiente, insignificante, miserabile, ridicoloItalian
  • わずかなJapanese
  • waardeloos, triviaal, pietluttig, beklagenswaardig, meelijwekkend, armzaligDutch
  • pobre, insignificantePortuguese
  • незначительный, жалкий, пустяковыйRussian
  • futtig, ynkligSwedish
  • değersizTurkish

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"paltry." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 3 Oct. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/paltry>.

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    a textile machine for weaving yarn into a textile
    • A. cleave
    • B. rumpus
    • C. loom
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