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[pee-nuht, -nuh t] /ˈpiˌnʌt, -nət/
the pod or the enclosed edible seed of the plant, Arachis hypogaea, of the legume family: the pod is forced underground in growing, where it ripens.
the plant itself.
any small or insignificant person or thing.
  1. Informal. a very small amount of money:
    working for peanuts.
  2. Slang. barbiturates.
  3. small pieces of Styrofoam used as a packing material.
of or relating to the peanut or peanuts.
made with or from peanuts.
Informal. small, insignificant, or petty.
Origin of peanut
An Americanism dating back to 1790-1800; pea1 + nut
Related forms
peanutty, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for peanut
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Did you ever notice how tiresome the whistle on a peanut roaster gets?

    Common Science Carleton W. Washburne
  • Why is the whistle of a peanut roaster so shrill, and why is the whistle of a boat so deep?

    Common Science Carleton W. Washburne
  • A camel is indistinguishable from a peanut—if only their humps be considered.

    The Book of the Damned Charles Fort
  • My lady, do you happen to have such a thing as a peanut in your pocket?

    Prudy Keeping House

    Sophie May
  • Before it dries, the peanut seed is easily injured by frost.

    Agriculture for Beginners Charles William Burkett
British Dictionary definitions for peanut


  1. a leguminous plant, Arachis hypogaea, of tropical America: widely cultivated for its edible seeds. The seed pods are forced underground where they ripen See also hog peanut
  2. Also called goober, goober pea, (Brit) groundnut, (Brit) monkey nut. the edible nutlike seed of this plant, used for food and as a source of oil
See also peanuts
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for peanut

1807, earlier ground nut, ground pea (1769). The plant is native to S.America. Portuguese traders took peanuts from Brazil and Peru to Africa by 1502 and it is known to have been cultivated in Chekiang Province in China by 1573, probably arriving with Portuguese sailors who made stops in Brazil en route to the Orient. Peanut butter attested by 1892; peanut brittle is from 1894. Peanut gallery "topmost rows of a theater" is from 1874, American English; peanuts "trivial sum" is from 1934.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for peanut



: a peanut operation


A small or trivial person; something insignificant (1934+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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