From King Dictionary of Contemporary Englishpettypet‧ty /ˈpeti/ ●○○ adjective 1 UNIMPORTANTa petty problem, detail etc is small and unimportant SYN trivial petty squabbles petty restrictions2 GENEROUSunkind and caring too much about small unimportant things How can she be so petty? petty jealousy and spitefulness3 petty crime4 petty criminal/thief etc5 GENEROUSa petty official is not important – used especially when they use their power as if they were important Some petty bureaucrat wanted all the documents in triplicate.pettiness noun [uncountable] the pettiness of Hollywood
Examples from the Corpus
pettyBut we kept pushing forward and we fought fair and we tried not to be petty.Sometimes he can be so petty about money.So can a person caged in corporate life begin to assume huge anxieties about petty annoyances.This isn't about some petty artistic vendetta.I was too defiant to return to such an art school, so cramped, so bunged up with petty authority.The meeting spent too much time on petty issues, and didn't address the real problem.The sudden rivalries and petty jealousies.We started having arguments over petty little things.The new courts were designed to relieve police courts of petty offences.a petty personal attackAnd how petty those ambitions were, really, besides my family's happiness.
Origin petty (1300-1400) Old French peti small