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petty
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Anna Karenina
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petty
Used In
Anna Karenina
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as in: don't be petty Define
focusing on an unimportant flaw; or attempting to make someone suffer for an unimportant wrong
  • They pounce on the idea, and distort it, and then work it out so pettily and unworthily.

  • There are no more uses of "petty" identified with this meaning, but check unspecified meaning below.

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  • I’m disgusted with their small-minded pettiness.
  • I’m growing weary of her petty little comments.

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unspecified meaning
  • He felt that the husband was magnanimous even in his sorrow, while he had been base and petty in his deceit.
  • If I could take from off you all these petty, humiliating cares….

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  • As a bachelor, when he had watched other people’s married life, seen the petty cares, the squabbles, the jealousy, he had only smiled contemptuously in his heart.
  • The abundant hair and very open forehead gave an appearance of consequence to the face, which had only one expression—a petty, childish, peevish expression, concentrated just above the bridge of the narrow nose.
  • Darya Alexandrovna regarded staying in the country for the summer as essential for the children, especially for the little girl, who had not succeeded in regaining her strength after the scarlatina, and also as a means of escaping the petty humiliations, the little bills owing to the wood-merchant, the fishmonger, the shoemaker, which made her miserable.
  • Although Levin believed himself to have the most exact conceptions of domestic life, unconsciously, like all men, he pictured domestic life as the happiest enjoyment of love, with nothing to hinder and no petty cares to distract.
  • All his salary went on household expenses and in payment of petty debts that could not be put off.
  • And all of a sudden, instead of his life with his wife being made on an individual pattern, it was, on the contrary, entirely made up of the pettiest details, which he had so despised before, but which now, by no will of his own, had gained an extraordinary importance that it was useless to contend against.
  • After being a long time in Moscow without a change, he reached a point when he positively began to be worrying himself over his wife’s ill-humor and reproaches, over his children’s health and education, and the petty details of his official work; even the fact of being in debt worried him.
  • His work, both on the land and on the book, in which the principles of the new land system were to be laid down, had not been abandoned; but just as formerly these pursuits and ideas had seemed to him petty and trivial in comparison with the darkness that overspread all life, now they seemed as unimportant and petty in comparison with the life that lay before him suffused with the brilliant light of happiness.

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  • His work, both on the land and on the book, in which the principles of the new land system were to be laid down, had not been abandoned; but just as formerly these pursuits and ideas had seemed to him petty and trivial in comparison with the darkness that overspread all life, now they seemed as unimportant and petty in comparison with the life that lay before him suffused with the brilliant light of happiness.
  • Just as the bees, whirling round him, now menacing him and distracting his attention, prevented him from enjoying complete physical peace, forced him to restrain his movements to avoid them, so had the petty cares that had swarmed about him from the moment he got into the trap restricted his spiritual freedom; but that lasted only so long as he was among them.

  • There are no more uses of "petty" in the book.


To see samples from other sources, click a word sense below:
as in: a petty crime Define
of less importance -- at times implying insignificance
as in: don't be petty Define
focusing on an unimportant flaw; or attempting to make someone suffer for an unimportant wrong
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