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

When at a playground, feed them at a picnic table or in their stroller instead of letting them run around with a peanut butter sandwich in hand. Casey Seidenberg,, "Your kid's friend has food allergies. Here's how to host a safe play date.," 17 May 2018 Fitzpatrick, the Alabama defensive back selected by the Dolphins with the 11th overall pick Thursday night, did not have money for lunches as a teen, so the school provided peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day, according to Adam H. Beasley, miamiherald, "From homeless to a soon-to-be millionaire: The remarkable Minkah Fitzpatrick story," 27 Apr. 2018 Beef jerky, dried apricots, granola and fig bars, apples, sunflower seeds and peanut butter sandwiches are the pillars of my fishing food pyramid. Jordan Rodriguez, idahostatesman, "5 ways to take your fishing trip to the next level | Idaho Statesman," 19 Mar. 2018 There's also a peanut butter sandwich for Elvis lovers. Jane Ford-stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Peanut Butter & Jelly Deli packs in customers since opening in West Allis," 7 Mar. 2018 Week 1 Single mom Chelsea packs a peanut butter sandwich and veggie lunch for an unseen child who may or may not exist. Molly Fitzpatrick, Bon Appetit, "All of the Tragically Untouched Food on 'The Bachelor' This Season," 6 Mar. 2018 There are paper sacks intended for peanuts or popcorn, specially printed for the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey circus. Carl Nolte,, "At the Box SF, previous eras’ castoffs prove valuable today," 8 July 2018 The retaliatory tariffs, which also included such typical U.S. products as orange juice, cigarettes, chewing tobacco and peanut butter, seemed aimed at putting pressure on such politically sensitive groups as farmers. Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY, "EU slaps stiff tariffs on U.S. jeans, motorcycles, bourbon in rebuff to Trump trade policy," 22 June 2018 How to eat them To turn apples into a more energizing snack, slice one up and enjoy with a spoonful of peanut or almond butter. Alexandra Sifferlin, Time, "11 Best Foods For Your Immune System," 19 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, and remaining sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Asian Noodles and Meatballs," 16 Aug. 2018 This may help explain why peanut allergies are more common in Western countries, where the nuts are often roasted (part of the process of making peanut butter), than in Asian nations where raw or boiled peanuts are more common. Amber Dance, Washington Post, "Peanut allergy is one of the most severe food allergies. New therapies might help.," 12 May 2018 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

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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Statistics for peanut

Last Updated

11 Nov 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).


something that serves to warn or remind

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