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


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

Fresh fruit, yogurt or milk, peanut butter and even greens can go in. Melissa Rayworth, Houston Chronicle, "Healthful breakfast on a busy school morning? It’s not so hard," 14 Aug. 2019 Those pretzels with peanut butter in them from Trader Joe's. Leigh-ann Jackson, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Veep' Star Tony Hale on the "Huge Gift" of Gary's Sad Farewell," 8 Aug. 2019 The Peanut Butter and Jelly (478-523 calories) combines banana, strawberry, milk choice, frozen yogurt (optional), peanut butter and jelly. Linda Zavoral, The Mercury News, "East Bay gets its second Rush Bowls restaurant," 31 July 2019 Stir in the tomatoes, chile flakes, cumin, paprika, salt, peanut butter and coconut milk., "Recipe: West African Peanut Shrimp," 31 July 2019 After the war, Ms. Fernandez went to Manila for college and stayed up late at the jazz joint Café Indonesia, eating gado-gado (salad with peanut sauce) while the trumpeter Toots Dila blew his horn. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "She Was Filipino Food’s Greatest Champion. Now Her Work Is Finding New Fans.," 30 July 2019 Joseph Muth told Scranton's WNEP-TV the district had considered serving peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to students with delinquent accounts, but received legal advice warning against it. Fox News, "School district warns parents: Pay lunch bill or kids may go into foster care," 21 July 2019 The restaurant's Stranger Things burger ($11) packs two beef patties, American cheese, peanut butter and local blueberry jam between two waffles. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "Eleven tasty ways to celebrate 'Stranger Things' Season 3 in Indianapolis," 1 July 2019 That doesn’t mean the last bits of peanut butter inside the plastic tub. Dennis Pillion |,, "Alabama is great at recycling other people’s trash - just not its own," 19 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Filling 1 1/2 cups peanut butter (smooth recommended but crunchy is also fine) For the French toast: In a bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until sugar dissolves; mix in cream, vanilla and rum. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Decadent French toast recipes from Breakfast Republic’s chef," 13 Aug. 2019 Buzz Aldrin became more famous than peanut butter and jelly. David Whitley,, "Astronaut Michael Collins was ideal ‘Forgotten Man’ for Apollo 11," 19 July 2019 Made for those who eat peanut butter straight from the jar, this version will contain more peanut butter than the original candy. Woman's Day, "This New Reese's Cup Is A Peanut Butter Lover's Dream Come True," 25 Mar. 2019 Caramel-Cookie Butter Icebox Pie is a playful variation on an old Texas favorite, peanut butter pie. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Old-fashioned icebox pies are easy and delicious," 4 June 2019 Early estimates of losses to the peanut crop range from $10 million to $20 million. Jeff Martin, The Seattle Times, "Farmers fear it will take years to recover from storm strike," 30 Oct. 2018 Cotton, pecan and peanut crops were lost in Georgia, and one million power customers were offline Thursday in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia, according to reports from local utilities. Jon Kamp And Arian Campo-flores, WSJ, "Michael Blasts Deadly Path Across Several Southern States," 11 Oct. 2018 In The Bitter Southerner, James Beard-award winning writer Shane Mitchell offers a history of and paean to this most versatile and nutritional of ground nuts and to the region where it’s grown, correcting a few peanut myths along the way. Michelle Weber, Longreads, "Goodness, How Delicious, Eating Goober Peas," 2 May 2018 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

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

19 Aug 2019

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
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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More from Merriam-Webster on peanut

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with peanut

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for peanut

Spanish Central: Translation of peanut

Nglish: Translation of peanut for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of peanut for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about peanut

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).


a usually brief trip or an expedition

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