peanut gallery

noun
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

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


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