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

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Prices for peanut butter and breads other than white bread climbed 3.5%. Rina Torchinsky, WSJ, 10 Aug. 2022 Coffee and peanut butter each got 3.5% more expensive. Danielle Wiener-bronner, CNN, 10 Aug. 2022 Step 2Beat together peanut butter, granulated sugar, light brown sugar and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. People Staff,, 1 Aug. 2022 If your peanut butter is firm and not blending, microwave the mixture for 30 seconds and whisk until the mixture is smooth and well blended. Robin Miller, USA TODAY, 25 July 2022 Trick-or-treaters on the hunt for Kit Kats, Twizzlers and Reese’s peanut butter cups might be in for a disappointment, or rather the people who like to give them out might. Hamza Shaban, Washington Post, 28 July 2022 When Joy Thompkins of Valparaiso teamed up to hatch an idea in early 2014 to start a company for gourmet peanut butter in unique varieties, some contrasting flavors tested and tasted better than others. Philip Potempa, Chicago Tribune, 27 July 2022 As the winds picked up in Bridgetown around 7:15 a.m., Sandra Clarke made up some peanut butter on biscuits for breakfast. Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica, 27 July 2022 As the winds picked up in Bridgetown around 7:15 a.m., Sandra Clarke made up some peanut butter on biscuits for breakfast. New York Times, 27 July 2022 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 See More

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.

First Known Use of peanut


1802, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1836, in the meaning defined above

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peanut butter

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Last Updated

13 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Peanut.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for peanut


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 )

More from Merriam-Webster on peanut

Nglish: Translation of peanut for Spanish Speakers

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


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