- of little value or account; small; trifling: a picayune amount.
- petty, carping, or prejudiced: I didn't want to seem picayune by criticizing.
- (formerly, in Louisiana, Florida, etc.) a coin equal to half a Spanish real.
- any small coin, as a five-cent piece.
- Informal. an insignificant person or thing.
Origin of picayune
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- a town in SE Mississippi.
Examples from the Web for picayune
The administration enthusiastically traded winning the future for a picayune present gain.Will Jack Lew Win the Future?
January 10, 2013
To see just how picayune the debate got, take a look at the opinions.Don’t Believe the Hype: Supreme Court Decision on Juvenile Life Without Parole Is Weak
David R. Dow
June 25, 2012
But his evaluation admitted that portions at the restaurant were “picayune, and desserts are something of a question mark.”Four Stars!
August 25, 2009
I give him a picayune, now and then; and you see he dresses well.
If we were only there, our chances wouldn't be worth a picayune.
I shall not proceed with the play for that picayune sum before me.Desert Dust
Edwin L. Sabin
This mystified me, but to object to the tent, of course, would have been picayune.The Prairie Mother
They ride like the devil, fight like the devil, but don't care a picayune for anything.The Crisis, Complete
- of small value or importance
- mean; petty
- the half real, an old Spanish-American coin
- US any coin of little value, esp a five-cent piece
Word Origin and History for picayune
1804, "coin of small value," probably from Louisiana French picaillon "coin worth 5 cents," earlier the French name of an old copper coin of Savoy (1750), from Provençal picaioun "small copper coin," from picaio "money," of uncertain origin. Adjectival figurative sense of "paltry, mean" recorded from 1813.