pea·​nut | \ ˈpē-(ˌ)nət How to pronounce peanut (audio) \

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

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Examples of peanut in a Sentence

Noun Five billion dollars is peanuts compared to what the government spends each year. He works all day for peanuts. Adjective this is a peanut matter, and we're fools for wasting time on it
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The food bank still has a warehouse of full of food, but that supply does not include as many canned goods and jars of peanut butter that the organization wishes to provide. Alexandria Burris, Indianapolis Star, "'Everyone is hurting': Indiana food bank director says group will soon be out of money," 20 May 2020 Make the filling by blending peanut butter, softened butter, and powdered sugar until all ingredients are well incorporated. Eric Velasco, al, "How to make simple icebox pies for summer," 7 May 2020 The donation list calls for canned meats, vegetables and fruit, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, beans and rice and cereal and crackers. Ted Dunnam, Houston Chronicle, "‘Stock the Shelves’ event to aid Pasadena food pantries," 23 Apr. 2020 Step 4 Sprinkle the scallions and peanuts (or toasted sesame seeds) on top before serving. Washington Post, "Cold Tahini Noodles With Vegetables," 4 Feb. 2020 That’s still peanuts compared to WeWork, which rented some 23 million sq ft in the US as of the second quarter of 2019, according to real-estate firm CBRE. Alison Griswold, Quartz, "WeWork’s competitors are out to prove they won’t be the next WeWork," 23 Jan. 2020 Add onion, apple, radishes, mint, peanuts, and chicken; toss to combine. Country Living Test Kitchen, Country Living, "Thai-Style Chicken Salad," 22 Jan. 2020 View this post on Instagram bought myself some peanuts, crackerjacks, a hamburger, and sipped bubbly while dancing with my girls to a few of our fav country music artists. Lia Beck,, "Victoria Paul’s Bachelor Superlative Should Be “Most Likely To Go To Stagecoach”," 6 Jan. 2020 Their food reflects both French and Senegalese cooking traditions, with boeuf bourguignon and gniiri (a peanut, black-eyed pea and mushroom creamed cornmeal) among current options. Josie Sexton, The Denver Post, "The 10 best new Denver restaurants of 2019," 23 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective To prepare dressing, combine peanut butter, hoisin sauce, brown sugar and chili garlic paste until smooth. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, "Asian Chicken Noodle Bowl is perfect make-ahead meal," 16 May 2020 In a small bowl, whisk together peanut butter, honey, ginger, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1/4 cup reserved coconut mixture, and remaining ½ teaspoon chili sauce; set aside. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Thai-Style Peanut Chicken Wraps," 30 Apr. 2020 Two of our Presidents (Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter) were peanut farmers. Amanda Erickson, Washington Post, "Europe is using peanut butter to send a message to Trump," 9 Mar. 2018 Two of our presidents (Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter) were peanut farmers. Amanda Erickson,, "Europe is using peanut butter to send a message to Trump," 9 Mar. 2018 The sandwiches are not peanut butter on white bread. Steve Rubenstein,, "On the bright side: Salvation Army rallies volunteer troops to feed SF’s homeless," 4 May 2020 Combine peanut butter, eggs, chocolate milk, cinnamon, and salt in a blender (or just mix well with a whisk!). Whitney Perry, Glamour, "Disney’s French Toast Recipe: Here’s How to Make It at Home," 22 Apr. 2020 While peanut allergy symptoms can vary among individuals, the most extreme response is anaphylaxis. Jamie Primeau, NBC News, "1st peanut allergy drug for children approved by FDA," 1 Feb. 2020 For dessert there’s a towering cube of green tea and banana cake with an excellent, bouncy texture, swathed in toffee sauce, with peanut crunch, black sesame seeds, and a pure, creamy snowball of coconut ice cream., "Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe," 18 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for peanut

Time Traveler

The first known use of peanut was in 1802

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Statistics for peanut

Last Updated

26 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Peanut.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for peanut


How to pronounce peanut (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of peanut

: a nut with a thin shell that grows under the ground and that can be eaten
informal : a very small amount of money


pea·​nut | \ ˈpē-ˌnət How to pronounce peanut (audio) \

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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