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adj. pal·tri·er, pal·tri·est
1. Lacking in importance or worth. See Synonyms at trivial.
2. Very small or inadequate in amount; negligible: was paid a paltry sum for his work.
3. Marked by meanness or lack of generosity; contemptible: "I would far rather burn my whole book, than that he or any other man should think that I had behaved in a paltry spirit" (Charles Darwin).
[Probably from obsolete and dialectal paltry, trash, perhaps from Low German paltrig, ragged, from palte, rag.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.