from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Lacking in importance or worth. See Synonyms at trivial.
- adj. Wretched or contemptible.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. trashy, trivial, of little value
- adj. meager; worthless; pitiful; trifling
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Mean; vile; worthless; despicable; contemptible; pitiful; trifling
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Mean; worthless; despicable: as, a paltry trifle; often in a mitigated sense, of little value of consequence.
- Synonyms Despicable, Pitiful, etc. (see contemptible), insignificant, petty, miserable, wretched, trifling, trivial.
- n. A wretched, worthless trifle.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. not worth considering
- adj. contemptibly small in amount
Probably from obsolete and dialectal paltry, trash, perhaps from Low German paltrig, ragged, from palte, rag.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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 Eastern Frisian palterig ("ragged, torn"), German dialectal palterig ("paltry"). Compare also Low German palte ("rag"), West Frisian palt ("rag"), German dialectal Palter ("rag"), Danish pjalt ("rag, tatter"), Swedish palta ("rag"). See also palterly. (Wiktionary)