peanut gallery

noun

Definition of peanut gallery 

1 : 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

2 : 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

First Known Use of peanut gallery

1867, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of peanut gallery was in 1867

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