Definition of pettifogging in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpɛtɪfɒɡɪŋ/


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’.


Late 16th century: from pettifogger + -ing2.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: petti¦fog|ging

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