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Pettiness   /pˈɛtinəs/   Listen

Narrowness of mind or ideas or views.
The quality of being unimportant and petty or frivolous.  Synonyms: puniness, slightness, triviality.
Lack of generosity in trifling matters.  Synonyms: littleness, smallness.

WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University

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"Pettiness" Quotes from Famous Books

... afraid. Again his mind went back to old Anna Green and what she had told him of his grandfather. How far away—how long ago that had been.... And yet, was Anna Green far away now? Something of her had seemed always to be with him on that long, weird voyage, from the infinite smallness and pettiness of Earth to this realm out beyond the stars. And more than ever now, somehow Lee seemed aware of her presence here in this quiet room. Occultism? He had always told himself that surely he was no mystic. A practical fellow, who could ...
— The World Beyond • Raymond King Cummings

... Conkling was energetic. He spoke frequently. That his temper was hot no one who looked at him could doubt, but he had it in tight control. Although he encountered unfriendly demonstrations, especially in New York, the pettiness of ruffled vanity did not appear. Nothing could be more easy and graceful than his manner on these occasions. His expository statements, lucid, smooth, and equally free from monotony and abruptness, were models of their kind. In dealing with election ...
— A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3 • DeAlva Stanwood Alexander

... historian should never forget that his mission is to do justice to all; the poor and the prosperous are equals before his pen; to him the peasant appears in the grandeur of his misery, and the rich in the pettiness of his folly. Moreover, the rich man has passions, the peasant only wants. The peasant is therefore doubly poor; and if, politically, his aggressions must be pitilessly repressed, to the eyes of humanity and religion ...
— Sons of the Soil • Honore de Balzac

... lure; Man wrongs, and Time avenges, and my name 50 May form a monument not all obscure, Though such was not my Ambition's end or aim, To add to the vain-glorious list of those Who dabble in the pettiness of fame, And make men's fickle breath the wind that blows Their sail, and deem it glory to be classed With conquerors, and Virtue's other foes, In bloody chronicles of ages past. I would have had my Florence great and free;[290] Oh ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 4 • Lord Byron

... Galloway came, looking as nearly like a dangerous old eagle as a human being well could. Rapacious, merciless, tyrannical; a famous philanthropist. Stingy to pettiness; a giver away of millions. Rigidly honest, yet absolutely unscrupulous; faithful to the last letter of his given word, yet so treacherous where his sly mind could nose out a way to evade the spirit of his agreements that his name was a synonym for ...
— The Grain Of Dust - A Novel • David Graham Phillips

... mental effort can understand a kind of pettiness which, for that matter, can be found on any and every social level, will realize the awe with which the bourgeoisie of Angouleme regarded the Hotel de Bargeton. The inhabitant of L'Houmeau beheld the grandeur of that miniature Louvre, the glory of the Angoumoisin Hotel de Rambouillet, ...
— Lost Illusions • Honore De Balzac

... Here, the residents of Reno work side by side with members of the "Divorce Colony," women in all walks of life, from all parts of the world; women famous and beautiful, all working for the great cause of Humanity without any social prejudices, personal feelings, or pettiness.... So much for ...
— Reno - A Book of Short Stories and Information • Lilyan Stratton

... change not so much to a gradual diminution of fortune as to a spiteful wish to annoy his hostess. It is one of the most detestable habits of a Liliputian mind to credit other people with its own malignant pettiness. ...
— Father Goriot • Honore de Balzac

... wonderful masterpiece of art, like the book of Hiob, or the Iliad, or Prometheus Vinctus, or the Athene of the Parthenon, or the Zeus of Olympus, showing how man in the creations of the artist rises highest above personal pettiness and weakness, how the genius in fiction creates the highest perfection, such as has never been seen in flesh and blood, - has now, as an invented historical occurrence, driven the whole world to the rudest falsifications of truth and impossible ...
— The Bride of Dreams • Frederik van Eeden

... curacies like Sydney Smith's on Salisbury Plain, or wandering sadly by the shore of Shetland fiords, there may be men who had in them the makings of eminent preachers; but whose powers have never been called out, and are rusting sadly away: and in whom many petty cares are developing a pettiness of nature. ...
— The Recreations of A Country Parson • A. K. H. Boyd

... scandal, the same intense interest for the most contemptible trivialities, the same constantly impending danger of suicide from ennui, did not human nature adapt itself to its environments, and sink into pettiness as naturally as though there were no such things as towns and cities, and enlarged views of man and nature in the world: all these it has the same as any British Little Pedlington. Then it has its circles of social intercourse, ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 460 - Volume 18, New Series, October 23, 1852 • Various

... as many ordinary grocers and certainly not enough to support their obligations with dignity. What is true of the Methodist Church is true of all the rest, in perhaps a greater degree. So with their smallness and their pettiness and their befogging stupidity I feel that they may be denying thinkers like you and me the use of their scheme and we'll have to find another for ourselves if ...
— The Heart's Kingdom • Maria Thompson Daviess

... desire to injure the women he woos? Such a motive may occur occasionally (the Vicomte de Valmont was so constituted), but it cannot be regarded as the guiding principle of a life—and above everything its pettiness is the exact reverse of so great and demoniacal a character as Don Juan. Were he conqueror in the highest sense, then—ascetic and proud—he would be content with the mere consciousness of victory. But his whole attitude belies the ...
— The Evolution of Love • Emil Lucka

... deep he plunged into Eternity, the ache of Time was still present to his mind, remote indeed, on the farthest shores of memory, but always there, an ache that would not still. He felt the pain of it, and still more the pettiness. To him, sitting at the heart of things, drinking in the great night, they seemed strangely mean and tawdry now, the excitements of ...
— The Gentleman - A Romance of the Sea • Alfred Ollivant

... with which we survey that winding up of the affair, we can afford to forget the infamous display of faction during the discussion of the Arms' bill. Any thing like it, in pettiness of malignity, has not been witnessed during this century: any thing like it, in impotence of effect, probably will not be witnessed again during our times. Thirteen divisions in one night—all without ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXVI. October, 1843. Vol. LIV. • Various

... an INFAME CATIN might die some day (for she is now deep in chaotic ailments, deepish even in brandy) seems never to have struck him; at least there is nowhere any articulate hint of it,—the eagle-flight of one's imagination soaring far above such a pettiness! Hope is very beautiful; and even fallacious hope, in such a Friedrich. The one hope that did not deceive him, was hope in his own best exertion to the very death; and no fallacy ever for a moment slackened him in that. Stand to ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XIX. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... Lew. Wallace, whose heat and intolerance were appropriately urged in the most exceptional English; of Howe, whose tirade against the rebel General Johnson was feeble as it was ungenerous! This court was needed to show us at least the petty tyranny of martial law and the pettiness of martial jurists. The counsel for the defence have just enough show to make the unfairness of the trial partake of hypocrisy, and the wideness of the subjects discussed makes one imagine that the object of the commission is to write a cyclopedia, and not to hang ...
— The Life, Crime and Capture of John Wilkes Booth • George Alfred Townsend

... the letters. There was no need of it. I knew that they were in his mind and that he was perfectly conscious of the pettiness of his action. But for me his simple confession ...
— David Malcolm • Nelson Lloyd

Words linked to "Pettiness" :   minginess, parsimony, closeness, littleness, triviality, smallness, meanness, joke, parsimoniousness, petty, unimportance, narrowness, tightfistedness, niggardliness, niggardness, narrow-mindedness, tightness

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