paltry pal‧try [ˈpɔːltri ǁ ˈpɒːl-] adjective
very small in number or amount and therefore not useful, important, or valuable:

• As interest rates fell, returns on fixed-income investments looked paltry compared with the stock market gains.

* * *

paltry UK US /ˈpɔːltri/ adjective
DISAPPROVING used to describe an amount of money that is very small: »

The savers were getting a paltry 0.1% interest regardless of the balance in their accounts.

a paltry amount/sum/figure »

Midwives are paid paltry sums to do truly demanding jobs.

a paltry payment/salary/return »

Miners' families get by on paltry salaries, and from time to time lose their loved ones in accidents.


Ms. Page said the settlement from the state is paltry.

of low quality: »

The research in this area has been paltry and weak.

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • paltry — pal try (p[add]l tr[y^]), a. [Compar. {Paltrier} (p[add]l tr[i^]*[ e]r); superl. {Paltriest}.] [Cf. Prov. E. paltry refuse, rubbish, LG. palterig ragged, palte, palter, a rag, a tatter, Dan. pialt, Sw. palta, pl. paltor.] Mean; vile; worthless;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • paltry — (adj.) 1560s, probably an adjectival use of noun paltry worthless thing (1550s), associated with dialectal palt, pelt trash, cognate with M.L.G. and E.Fris. palte rag, M.Du. palt broken or torn fragment. Cf. Low Ger. paltrig rubbishy, E.Fris.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • paltry — I adjective below par, beneath contempt, beneath notice, cheap, contemptible, deficient, despicable, diminutive, humble, inadequate, incomplete, inconsequential, inconsiderable, insignificant, irrelevant, lacking, little, meager, mean, measly,… …   Law dictionary

  • paltry — trifling, trivial, *petty, puny, measly, picayunish, picayune Analogous words: *contemptible, despicable, sorry, scurvy, cheap, beggarly, shabby: abject, ignoble, *mean: *base, low, vile …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • paltry — [adj] poor; worthless base, beggarly, cheap, common, contemptible, derisory, despicable, inconsiderable, ineffectual, insignificant, limited, low, low down*, meager, mean, measly, minor, miserable, narrow, petty, picayune, piddling, pitiful, puny …   New thesaurus

  • paltry — ► ADJECTIVE (paltrier, paltriest) 1) (of an amount) very small or meagre. 2) petty; trivial. DERIVATIVES paltriness noun. ORIGIN probably from dialect pelt «rubbish» …   English terms dictionary

  • paltry — [pôl′trē] adj. paltrier, paltriest [prob. < LowG paltrig, ragged < palte, a rag] practically worthless; trifling; insignificant; contemptible; petty paltriness n …   English World dictionary

  • paltry — pal|try [ˈpo:ltri US ˈpo:l ] adj [Date: 1500 1600; Origin: paltry worthless material (16 19 centuries)] 1.) a paltry amount of something is too small to be useful or important ▪ paltry sum of money ▪ He received only a paltry £25 a day. 2.)… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • paltry — [[t]pɔ͟ːltri[/t]] 1) ADJ GRADED: usu ADJ n, oft a ADJ amount A paltry amount of money or something else is one that you consider to be very small. ...a paltry fine of ₤150... They suffered an electoral catastrophe, winning a paltry 3 seats. 2)… …   English dictionary

  • paltry — adjective (paltrier; est) Etymology: obsolete paltry trash, from dialect palt, pelt piece of coarse cloth, trash; akin to Middle Low German palte rag Date: 1570 1. inferior, trashy 2. mean, despicable < a paltry trick > 3 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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