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peanut

[pee-nuht, -nuh t]
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noun
  1. 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.
  2. the plant itself.
  3. any small or insignificant person or thing.
  4. peanuts,
    1. Informal.a very small amount of money: working for peanuts.
    2. Slang.barbiturates.
    3. small pieces of Styrofoam used as a packing material.
adjective
  1. of or relating to the peanut or peanuts.
  2. made with or from peanuts.
  3. Informal. small, insignificant, or petty.

Origin of peanut

An Americanism dating back to 1790–1800; pea1 + nut
Related formspea·nut·ty, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for peanuts

peanuts

noun
  1. slang a trifling amount of money

peanut

noun
    1. a leguminous plant, Arachis hypogaea, of tropical America: widely cultivated for its edible seeds. The seed pods are forced underground where they ripenSee also hog peanut
    2. Also called: goober, goober pea, (Brit) groundnut, (Brit) monkey nutthe 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

Word Origin and History for peanuts

peanut

n.

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

peanuts in Culture

“Peanuts”

A popular comic strip drawn by Charles M. Schulz. The world of Peanuts is populated by pint-sized versions of adults: perennial optimist and born loser Charlie Brown; bossy, loud-mouthed Lucy; gentle Linus with his security blanket; Schroeder, the brooding piano player; and many others.

Note

Perhaps the most popular character is the beagle Snoopy, Charlie Brown's dog, who is often accompanied by his feathered friend, Woodstock.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.