peanut gallery


: the upper balcony of a theater
Carnegie Hall was packed, the balconies rising row on row, full, even to the "peanut gallery."Lady Bird Johnson
also : a section of cheap seats in a theater or the group of spectators seated there
I don't even get to sit with Megan since she's real high society and I'm just her … fiancée. I'll be down in the peanut gallery with the low-lifes … John Ringo
: a group of critics or commentators likened to spectators in the cheap seats of a theater
But even so, last year's adaptation … reaped more backlash from critics than its pop-blockbuster excellence deserved. The peanut gallery didn't like director Gary Ross's handheld camerawork …Ross Douthat
The announcement that "The Inheritance of Loss" had won the Booker was met (as these announcements always are) with a few gripes from the peanut gallery in Britain.Dwight Garner

Examples of peanut gallery in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Egged on by the conservative peanut gallery, DeSantis has relentlessly pushed himself to the right. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 17 May 2023 While three bakers compete in each round, the remaining participants sit on stage as a peanut gallery, lobbing questions and comments. The New Yorker, 7 Apr. 2022 The peanut gallery was out in full force. Rahat Huq, Chron, 11 July 2022 Hip-hop clichés ruled, from a DJ replacing the usual movie-theme orchestra (lest viewers mistakenly expect learned black musicians) to numerous black celebrity appearances and a raucous peanut gallery suspiciously miked to emphasize audience participation, as on the BET and Soul Train awards. Armond White, National Review, 30 Mar. 2022 The power of Jackass has always rested with the peanut gallery. David Sims, The Atlantic, 5 Feb. 2022 Here’s a question for the peanut gallery: Did Kevin and Maisha date previously? Nina Metz,, 19 July 2021 In some similar cases — for example, when content creators have collaborated with companies on blue light glasses and esports performance wear, neither of which are supported by scientific consensus — there’s hardly been a peep from the peanut gallery. Washington Post, 28 Oct. 2021 That’s the peanut gallery. Phoebe Neidl, Rolling Stone, 3 Mar. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'peanut gallery.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1867, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of peanut gallery was in 1867

Dictionary Entries Near peanut gallery

Cite this Entry

“Peanut gallery.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

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