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

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 Months later, Devonte showed up begging for peanut butter, tortillas and other food. Joe Heim And Julie Tate,, "As children begged for help, adoption system failed them," 13 July 2018 Fluoxetine, the generic form of Prozac, now comes in dozens of pet-friendly flavors, including peanut butter, apple and molasses, double grape, double liver, double beef, double fish, and — for the especially carnivorous depressive — triple fish. David Scharfenberg,, "Did humans drive this polar bear insane?," 13 July 2018 Conagra’s Peter Pan peanut butter and Hebrew National hot dogs, and Pinnacle’s Vlasic pickles and Duncan Hines cakes are among the many household names that the companies have been investing in to better align with consumer trends. Annie Gasparro, WSJ, "Conagra Deal for Pinnacle Reflects Faith in Hot Frozen-Foods Aisle," 27 June 2018 One of us hides peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the furnace vent. Kevin Fisher-paulson, San Francisco Chronicle, "With my teenagers, it’s my fault that everything’s my fault," 29 May 2018 Among its offerings is The Ron Bennington and features chocolate cake with peanut butter filling topped with ganache and crushed butterscotch. Erin Hegarty, Naperville Sun, "Molly's Cupcakes coming to downtown Naperville," 10 July 2018 The first spoonful of kare-kare — a stew of oxtail and tripe, heavy with peanut butter and toasted rice powder — is startlingly bland. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "At Lahi, Filipino Dishes, Classic and Idiosyncratic Alike," 31 May 2018 The Center City store carries everything from whole roasted mealworms to peanut-butter-and-chocolate cricket protein bars to mealworm coconut brittle to insect protein powder. Grace Dickinson,, "Beyond bugs: 12 unique (and strange) ingredients at Mom's Organic Market and what to do with them," 16 May 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

16 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).


alleviating pain or harshness

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