View synonyms for penny ante

penny ante



  1. Cards. a game of poker in which the ante or basic bet is one cent.
  2. Informal. any business arrangement or transaction involving a trifling or paltry sum of money.



[ pen-ee-an-tee ]


, Informal.
  1. involving a trifling sum of money; small in amount:

    a penny-ante investment.

  2. inconsiderable; minor; small-time.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of penny ante1

An Americanism dating back to 1850–55

Origin of penny ante2

An Americanism dating back to 1930–35

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Example Sentences

No, not the penny-ante conspiracy Hillary Clinton first floated back in the 90s.

He should stop wasting his time taunting Rick Perry with penny-ante bets and put his lucre to good use.

We laugh a good deal, we joke, we play the eternal penny ante, and possibly the letters come.

The limit was set at ten cents, and it was to be a regular penny ante game.

Its nothing but penny-ante, with a ten-cent limit; just enough to make it interesting, you know.

I'm goin' to be settin' in at a little penny-ante in Elmer Rogers' back room over to the Centre.

“You can say anything you like to me, Miss Penny Ante,” he replied encouragingly.


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