Definition of puny in English:

puny

Syllabification: pu·ny
Pronunciation: /ˈpyo͞onē
 
/

adjective (punier, puniest)

1Small and weak: skeletal, white-faced, puny children
More example sentences
  • Father never really liked me, because I was weak and puny, the smallest amongst all my siblings.
  • The Viking soldiers tried to attack but most had fled and the others were weak and puny.
  • Their gigantic footballers have seen off the puny English opposition.
Synonyms
undersized, undernourished, underfed, stunted, slight, small, little; weak, feeble, sickly, delicate, frail, fragile
informal weedy, pint-sized
pitiful, pitiable, inadequate, insufficient, derisory, miserable, sorry, meager, paltry, trifling, inconsequential
formal exiguous
1.1Poor in quality, amount, or size: the army was reduced to a puny 100,000 men
More example sentences
  • It is simply not worth the hassle to deal in such a puny amount - dealing costs will take out a hefty chunk of any profit on the shares.
  • With a puny drive and paltry track record, he has only accuracy off the tee to commend him, but it has not prevented the galleries accepting him as one of their own.
  • Third, stay in the book business long enough to change the market dynamic and plow all those pitifully puny stores under.

Origin

mid 16th century (as a noun denoting a younger or more junior person): phonetic spelling of puisne.

Derivatives

punily

Pronunciation: /ˈpyo͞onl-ē/
adverb
More example sentences
  • And when, at the end of the first scene, the tribunes itemise the hero's flaws, Hicks is again visible making his detractors appear punily envious.
  • Two Mushtaqs of Pakistani cricket, both of who were punily built and bowled legspin, have totally diverging views though.

puniness

noun
More example sentences
  • In the film, Macy's character was totally enclosed in the irony and yet we could identify with his desperate puniness without hoping for him to get away with his crime.
  • Besides, the point of the original version's visual extravagance was not to show off; it was to contrast the grandeur of the characters' silly young dreams with the puniness of their old, educated bitterness.
  • The book seems to be about the fear of death, the culture of death, the arrogance and puniness of men and women in the face of death, and even the defeat of death.

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