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PETIT, a. pet'ty. Small; little; mean.
adjective Etymology: Middle English, small, minor, from Anglo-French, small Date: 14th century petty 1 — used chiefly in legal compounds
adj. esp. Law petty; small; of lesser importance. Phrases and idioms: petit jury = petty jury. Etymology: ME f. OF, = small, f. Rmc, perh. imit. of child's speech
Petit Pet"it, a. [F. See Petty.] Small; little; insignificant; mean; -- Same as Petty. [Obs., except in legal language.] By what small, petit hints does the mind catch hold of and recover a vanishing notion. --South. Petit constable, an inferior civil officer, subordinate to the high constable. Petit jury, a jury of twelve men, impaneled to try causes at the bar of a court; -- so called in distinction from the grand jury. Petit larceny, the stealing of goods of, or under, a certain specified small value; -- opposed to grand larceny. The distinction is abolished in England. Petit ma[^i]tre. [F., lit., little master.] A fop; a coxcomb; a ladies' man. --Goldsmith. Petit serjeanty (Eng. Law), the tenure of lands of the crown, by the service of rendering annually some implement of war, as a bow, an arrow, a sword, a flag, etc. Petit treason, formerly, in England, the crime of killing a person to whom the offender owed duty or subjection, as one's husband, master, mistress, etc. The crime is now not distinguished from murder.