Note: Our Sixth Annual 15-Second Vocabulary Video Challenge is underway. It will run until Feb. 18.
paltry ˈpȯl-trē adjective
1. contemptibly small in amount
2. not worth considering
The word paltry has appeared in 88 articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on Jan. 17 in “Politics Looms Over Empty Seats as Saudi Arabia Faces Qatar in Asian Cup” by Tariq Panja:
Saudi’s soccer federation, meanwhile, has secured thousands of tickets for its games, but their fans’ presence has had little effect at a tournament notable for its paltry attendance figures. The lack of fans has created a strange atmosphere inside the stadiums, with loud music echoing around largely empty arenas and M.C.s who exhort those present to “make some noise.”
Despite tickets priced as low as about $7, even neutral fans are staying away. Several migrant workers, a group that heavily outnumbers U.A.E. nationals in Abu Dhabi, said their biggest obstacle was not ticket prices or geopolitical intrigue but something far more basic: As one Nigerian taxi driver said, he was just too busy.
“I’m always at work,” he said.