Dictionary.com

picayune

[ pik-ee-yoon, pik-uh- ]
/ ˌpɪk iˈyun, ˌpɪk ə- /
Save This Word!

adjective Also pic·a·yun·ish. Informal.
of little value or account; small; trifling: a picayune amount.
petty, carping, or prejudiced: I didn't want to seem picayune by criticizing.
noun
(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.
QUIZ
ARE YOU A TRUE BLUE CHAMPION OF THESE "BLUE" SYNONYMS?
We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.
Question 1 of 8
Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of picayune

First recorded in 1780–90; from Provençal picaioun “small copper coin” (compare French picaillons ), derivative of an unattested onomatopoetic base pikk- “beat,” here referring to the coining of coppers

OTHER WORDS FROM picayune

pic·a·yun·ish·ly, adverbpic·a·yun·ish·ness, noun

Other definitions for picayune (2 of 2)

Picayune
[ pik-uh-yoon, pik-ee- ]
/ ˌpɪk əˈyun, ˌpɪk i- /

noun
a town in SE Mississippi.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use picayune in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for picayune

picayune
/ (ˌpɪkəˈjuːn) /

adjective Also: picayunish US and Canadian informal
of small value or importance
mean; petty
noun
the half real, an old Spanish-American coin
US any coin of little value, esp a five-cent piece

Derived forms of picayune

picayunishly, adverbpicayunishness, noun

Word Origin for picayune

C19: from French picaillon coin from Piedmont, from Provençal picaioun, of unknown origin
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
FEEDBACK