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1

picayune

play
noun pic·a·yune \ˌpi-kē-ˈyün\

Definition of picayune

  1. 1 a :  a Spanish half real piece formerly current in the South b :  half dime

  2. 2 :  something trivial



Examples of picayune in a sentence

  1. <our lives don't amount to a picayune in the great scheme of things>



Origin of picayune

Occitan picaioun, a small coin, from picaio money, from pica to jingle, of imitative origin


First Known Use: 1804


2

picayune

adjective pic·a·yune

Simple Definition of picayune

  • : not very valuable or important

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of picayune

  1. :  of little value :  paltry; also :  petty, small-minded

picayunish play \-ˈyü-nish\ adjective

Examples of picayune in a sentence

  1. They argued over the most picayune details.

  2. <the picayune ponderings of a commentator who steadfastly believes other cultures are inferior to our own>



Did You Know?

In the 19th century, in Louisiana and other southern states, a picayune was a small coin (specifically, a Spanish half real) with a low monetary value. The coin's name derives from picaioun, a word that means "small coin" in Occitan (a language spoken in Southern France). It ultimately derives from the Occitan word pica, which means "to jingle" and which was created to mimic the sound of coins jingling. The real as a monetary unit fell out of use, however, and picayune joined two bits in the category of small amounts of money whose name eventually came to be used instead for things that are paltry and small.

1836

First Known Use of picayune

1836



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