• (British) IPA: /pjuːni/

puny (comparative punier, superlative puniest)

  1. Of inferior size, strength or significance; small, weak, ineffective.
    You puny earthlings are no match for Ming the Merciless!
    • 1595 December 9 (first known performance)​, William Shakespeare, “The life and death of King Richard the Second”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene ii]:
      A puny subject strikes at thy great glory.
    • Breezes laugh to scorn our puny speed.
Synonyms Translations Noun

puny (plural punies)

  1. (obsolete, Oxford University slang) A new pupil at a school etc.; a junior student.
  2. (obsolete) A younger person.
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 12, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes, […], book II, printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821 ↗:
      a law that the eldest or first borne child shall succeed and inherit all: where nothing at all is reserved for Punies, but obedience […].
  3. (obsolete) A beginner, a novice.
  4. (archaic) An inferior person; a subordinate.

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