pea·nut | \ˈpē-(ˌ)nət \

Definition of peanut 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a low-branching widely cultivated annual herb (Arachis hypogaea) of the legume family with showy yellow flowers having a peduncle which elongates and bends into the soil where the ovary ripens into a pod containing one to three oily edible seeds also : its seed or seed-containing pod

2 : an insignificant or tiny person

3 peanuts plural : a trifling amount

4 : a pellet usually made of polystyrene foam that is used especially as packing material



Definition of peanut (Entry 2 of 2)

: insignificant, petty peanut politics

Examples of peanut in a Sentence


Five billion dollars is peanuts compared to what the government spends each year. He works all day for peanuts.


this is a peanut matter, and we're fools for wasting time on it
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In 2017 alone, the airline served more than 106 million peanuts, according to its website. Michelle Gant, Fox News, "Southwest Airlines to stop serving peanuts on all flights," 10 July 2018 Once quotas are filled, shelled peanuts going into America face a tariff of 132%, and raw tobacco duties of 350%. The Economist, "How open is America?," 14 June 2018 The goats, selected from the herd of 2,600 meat goats on the ranch, will carry up to six clubs each for two golfers, up to six beverages, golf balls and the peanuts players will use to tip them for their services. Chadd Cripe, idahostatesman, "Goat caddies, a license to cheat and trash-talking rakes. It's all about fun at Silvies.," 11 June 2018 That's also the case for the new flavor launching in August: dark chocolate with salted peanuts for elephants. Sarah Bowman, Indianapolis Star, "Those chocolate bars with endangered species on the wrapper are made in Indianapolis," 1 June 2018 All that's required is tossing the dressing ingredients into a food processor and chopping a whole bunch of fresh vegetables and some peanuts. Maya Wilson, Anchorage Daily News, "This Thai peanut salad is fresh and colorful, with a satisfying crunch," 10 May 2018 About two percent of children have a peanut allergy, though studies suggest the number is increasing. Hillary Gordon, Md,, "ER visits rising for kids with allergies," 30 Apr. 2018 There is no way a human could be expected to withstand that kind of acceleration while still playing on a smart phone or drinking a cocktail and eating peanuts. Rhett Allain, WIRED, "How Many G's Will the Hyperloop Pull in Its Next Test?," 10 Apr. 2018 Top three beers: Munich Dunkel — Amber lager with malty caramel notes Hefeweizen — Unfiltered wheat with banana and clove notes Helles — Golden lager with a slightly floral finish Most inventive beer: Ya Damn Skippy — a peanut butter porter. Bailey Loosemore, The Courier-Journal, "Get to know Blue Stallion Brewing Company, a craft brewery in Lexington," 4 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The double dose of peanuts in the form of whole nuts and peanut butter means these bars are really filling, even in small portions. Becky Krystal, charlotteobserver, "These five-ingredient, 10-minute peanut bars will be your new afternoon pick-me-up | Charlotte Observer," 3 Apr. 2018 The military has long disqualified recruits for a broad range of medical conditions that could impact performance, including bad knees, heel spurs, diabetes and even peanut allergies. New York Times, "Sergeant Sues Defense Dept. Over ‘Outdated’ H.I.V. Policies," 31 May 2018 Nails and eyes aren’t quite peanut butter and jelly. Korin Miller, SELF, "6 Simple Ways to Take Better Care of Your Eyes," 1 Apr. 2018 In a large pot, heat about 4 inches peanut oilover medium-high heat until a thermometer reads 360 degrees. WSJ, "Hold the Mayo: 4 Adventurous Alternatives to Potato Salad," 19 Apr. 2018 But Carver’s botanical research at the Tuskegee Institute contributed greatly to peanut butter’s rise in popularity. Michelle Weber, Longreads, "Goodness, How Delicious, Eating Goober Peas," 2 May 2018 Flavors can include peanut butter, lavender honey, jasmine green tea, s'mores and root beer, and seasonal selections like the current Chicken & Waffles. Joyce Smith, kansascity, "Waldo ice cream shop adding River Market location | The Kansas City Star," 17 Apr. 2018 In addition to mufleta, among the many delicacies that Dorit’s family prepares for Mimouna are peanut cookies, almond cookies filled with meringue or chocolate ganache, and coconut macaroons. Florence Steinberger, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Mimouna sweets, a Moroccan tradition, herald the end of Passover," 3 Apr. 2018 Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce and sesame oil. Daniel Neman, sacbee, "Spread joy: Cook with peanut butter | The Sacramento Bee," 3 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'peanut.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of peanut


1802, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1836, in the meaning defined above

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Phrases Related to peanut

peanut butter

Statistics for peanut

Last Updated

30 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for peanut

The first known use of peanut was in 1802

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More Definitions for peanut



English Language Learners Definition of peanut

: a nut with a thin shell that grows under the ground and that can be eaten

peanuts : a very small amount of money


pea·nut | \ˈpē-ˌnət \

Kids Definition of peanut

: a nutlike edible seed related to the pea that comes from the tough underground pods of a widely grown plant and that are eaten whole or crushed to form a spread ( peanut butter ) or produce oil for cooking ( peanut oil )

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Comments on peanut

What made you want to look up peanut? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

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