pea·​nut | \ ˈpē-(ˌ)nət How to pronounce peanut (audio) \
plural peanuts

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 made of a low-density lightweight material (such as polystyrene foam or corn starch) that is used especially as packing material usually plural It's all part of the company's mission to be more sustainable. When your paint shows up at your door, you won't find it loaded with polystyrene peanuts.— Nicole ConwayIn the 1800s the acorns were used for packing (like Styrofoam peanuts) and ships would dump them overboard and they'd wash up on shore.— Rich EldredWhenever you get plants in the mail, or other fragile things, they come packed with these foam peanuts.— Peter HottonThe bill would also ban the sale of polystyrene loose fill packaging, or packing peanuts.— Samantha Maldonado



Definition of peanut (Entry 2 of 2)

: insignificant, petty peanut politics

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Examples of peanut in a Sentence

Noun Five billion dollars is peanuts compared to what the government spends each year. He works all day for peanuts. Adjective this is a peanut matter, and we're fools for wasting time on it
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Multistate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium infections associated with King Nut peanut butter manufactured by the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, 29 May 2021 Think granola bars or apple slices with peanut butter, cheese and crackers, or trail mix with a little jerky in it. Ashley Mateo,, 27 May 2021 Use a comb to work the peanut butter through the hair. Marielle Marlys, Good Housekeeping, 24 May 2021 Skippy peanut butter, Fresca soft drinks, Yoo Hoo Chocolate Drink, Spaghettios (pasta with sliced franks in tomato sauce), Minute Maid frozen lemonade concentrate and Donald Duck frozen orange juice. Rich Heileman, cleveland, 21 May 2021 Items needed are peanut butter, jelly, and tuna fish, and may be dropped off at the double doors in the Cedar Street parking lot of the church., 14 May 2021 Consumer goods companies are charging more for household basics like toilet paper, peanut butter, and soft drinks. Christopher Rugaber, The Christian Science Monitor, 13 May 2021 That said, here's a favorite snack of my dog: a bite of whole grain toast with a smear of peanut butter, some flax seed and a blueberry. Washington Post, 8 May 2021 Here's to many more years of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, 7 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Using Park Lane Pantry’s newest chocolate granola, plus peanut butter, coconut flour and cocoa powder, these energy bites are a refrigerator staple. Dallas News, 26 May 2020 To prepare dressing, combine peanut butter, hoisin sauce, brown sugar and chili garlic paste until smooth. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, 16 May 2020 In a small bowl, whisk together peanut butter, honey, ginger, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1/4 cup reserved coconut mixture, and remaining ½ teaspoon chili sauce; set aside. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, 30 Apr. 2020 Two of our Presidents (Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter) were peanut farmers. Amanda Erickson, Washington Post, 9 Mar. 2018 Two of our presidents (Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter) were peanut farmers. Amanda Erickson,, 9 Mar. 2018 The sandwiches are not peanut butter on white bread. Steve Rubenstein,, 4 May 2020 Combine peanut butter, eggs, chocolate milk, cinnamon, and salt in a blender (or just mix well with a whisk!). Whitney Perry, Glamour, 22 Apr. 2020 While peanut allergy symptoms can vary among individuals, the most extreme response is anaphylaxis. Jamie Primeau, NBC News, 1 Feb. 2020

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

2 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Peanut.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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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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