Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle Low German paltrig(ragged, rubbishy, worthless), from palter, palte(cloth, rag, shred), from Old Saxon *paltro, *palto(cloth, rag), from Proto-Germanic *paltrô, *paltô(scrap, rag, patch). Cognate with Low German palterig(ragged, torn), German dialectal palterig(paltry). Compare also Low German palte(rag), West Frisian palt(rag), Saterland Frisian Palte(strip; band; tape), German dialectal Palter(rag), Danish pjalt(rag, tatter), Swedish palta(rag). See also palterly.


Headset icon.svg This entry needs audio files. If you have a microphone, please record some and upload them. (For audio required quickly, visit WT:APR.)


paltry (comparative paltrier, superlative paltriest)

  1. trashy, trivial, of little value
    This is indeed a paltry flyer about a silly product.
    She made some paltry excuse and left.
  2. meager; worthless; pitiful; trifling
    Could someone hope to survive on such a paltry income?
    Student grants these days are paltry, and many students have to take out loans.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Nouns to which "paltry" is often applied: sum, rate, amount, number, price, salary, wages, fellow, pay, excuse, income, gain, compensation.