first marquis of lansdowne


  1. Henry Charles Keith Pet·ty-Fitz·mau·rice [pet-ee-fits-mawr-is, –mor-] /ˈpɛt i fɪtsˈmɔr ɪs, -ˈmɒr-/, 5th Marquis of,1845–1927, British statesman: viceroy of India 1888–94, foreign secretary 1900–05.
  2. William Petty Fitz·mau·rice [fits-mawr-is, –mor-] /fɪtsˈmɔr ɪs, -ˈmɒr-/, 2nd Earl of Shelburne, 1st Marquis of,1737–1805, British statesman: prime minister 1782–83.
  3. a city in SE Pennsylvania.


  1. Richard,born 1937, U.S. racing-car driver.
  2. William, 2nd Earl of Shelburne, 1st Marquis of Lansdowne. William Petty Fitzmaurice Lansdowne.


  1. 1st Marquess of. See (William Petty Fitzmaurice) Shelburne

adjective -tier or -tiest

  1. trivial; trifling; inessentialpetty details
  2. of a narrow-minded, mean, or small-natured disposition or characterpetty spite
  3. minor or subordinate in rankpetty officialdom
  4. law of lesser importance

late 14c., “small,” from phonemic spelling of Old French petit “small” (see petit). In English, not originally disparaging (cf. petty cash, 1834; petty officer, 1570s). Meaning “of small importance” is recorded from 1520s; that of “small-minded” is from 1580s. Related: Pettily; pettiness. An old name for “Northern Lights” was petty dancers.

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