Definition for PET'IT

PET'IT, a. [pet'ty, Fr. See Petty.]

Small; little; mean. – South. [This word petit is now generally written petty.] Petit constable, an inferior civil officer subordinate to the high constable. Petit jury, a jury of twelve freeholders who are empanneled to try causes at the bar of a court; so called in distinction from the grand jury, which tries the truth of indictments. Petit larceny, the stealing of goods of the value of twelve pence, or under that amount; opposed to grand larceny. Petit sergeantry, in English law, the tenure of lands of the king, by the service of rendering to him annually some implement of war, as a bow, an arrow, a sword, lance, &c. Petit treason, the crime of killing a person, to whom the offender owes duty or subjection. Thus it is petit treason for a wife to kill her husband, or a servant his lord or master. – Blackstone.

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