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picayune

[ pik-ee-yoon, pik-uh- ]
/ ˌpɪk iˈyun, ˌpɪk ə- /
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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.
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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. 2022

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
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