Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of inferior size, strength, or significance; weak: a puny physique; puny excuses.
  • adj. Chiefly Southern U.S. Sickly; ill.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A new pupil at a school etc.; a junior student.
  • n. A younger person.
  • n. A beginner, a novice.
  • n. An inferior person; a subordinate.
  • adj. Of inferior size, strength or significance.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Imperfectly developed in size or vigor; small and feeble; inferior; petty.
  • n. A youth; a novice.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Later-born; younger; junior. See puisne, 1.
  • Small and weak; inferior or imperfectly developed in size or strength; feeble; petty; insignificant.
  • Synonyms Little, diminutive, stunted, starveling.
  • n. A young, inexperienced person; a junior; a novice.
  • n. A bedbug: same as punice.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. inferior in strength or significance
  • adj. (used especially of persons) of inferior size

Etymologies

Variant of puisne.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Variant form of puisne. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I'll have to shoot a deer at Thanksgiving with my 338 from stem to stern to see if I can get the bullet back, and show you guys that the big X bullets are expanding, even in puny deer.

    The "Infallible" Shoulder Shot

  • Jarvis Cocker: "Why do they call a puny person a weed, when weeds are tenacious plants that grow in adverse circumstances?"

    Thin is in: in search of the perfect male body

  • But ask them we must, for the human barbarian seeks explanations & meaning for what is inexplicable & unanswerable in the terms our puny brain can understand.

    AlterNet.org Main RSS Feed

  • David Pogue, has been that its offerings are "puny" -- a mere 60,000 e-books so far -- compared to what's available on the Kindle or other e-readers offered by competing retailers like Barnes

    DailyFinance

  • I also love "puny" - as in "I drank too much last night and I'm feeling kinda puny this morning."

    World Hum

  • The second is lovingly referred to as puny and spindly.

    Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grandmothers

  • But we'd never met, nor even communicated, and I couldn't think of any reason why a blue supergiant SF star like him would be calling a puny red dwarf like me.

    Analog Science Fiction and Fact

  • He vaguely recalled a puny little man with anxious eyes, whose clothes seemed too big for his scrawny body.

    Maigret and the Burglar's Wife

  • Actually p_eunny aka puny, Adolf Hitler started touting the same junk about national socialism in the 1920s.

    tcpalm.com Stories

  • The umpires help hitters "work the count" by calling a puny strike zone.

    Express Milwaukee

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Comments

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  • heehee.

    October 23, 2009

  • One can almost bet that Brahms penned better cello parts than Joseph Haydn did....

    October 23, 2009

  • "I have gone all through Brahms pretty well by now. All I can say of him is that he's a puny little dwarf with a rather narrow chest. Good Lord, if a breath from the lungs of Richard Wagner whistled about his ears, he would scarcely be able to keep his feet."
    - Gustav Mahler.

    October 23, 2009