Share this entry

pettifogging Line breaks: petti¦fog|ging
Pronunciation: /ˈpɛtɪfɒɡɪŋ/

Definition of pettifogging in English:


Placing undue emphasis on petty details; petty or trivial: pettifogging attorneys were the bane of civil society
More example sentences
  • Their concern was brushed off as a pettifogging detail rather than an understandable concern.
  • The one thing that Labour has been entirely consistent about is its pettifogging parliamentarism, its proceduralism, its gradualism and its timidity before capital and the Establishment.
  • Only the most Lilliputian of political outlooks could consider these kind of pettifogging government measures ‘bold and far-reaching’.

Definition of pettifogging in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources