adjective Also pic·a·yun·ish. Informal.
- picasso, pablo,
- piccadilly circus,
Origin of picayune
Examples from the Web for picayune
The administration enthusiastically traded winning the future for a picayune present gain.
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|DAILY BEAST
But his evaluation admitted that portions at the restaurant were “picayune, and desserts are something of a question mark.”
"Picayune Butler's coming, coming" has upset my nervous system.A Confederate Girl's Diary|Sarah Margan Dawson
A week afterward Richling saw him at the Picayune Tier, superintending the unloading of a small schooner-load of bananas.Dr. Sevier|George W. Cable
They wudn't let me leave ther boat, ner pay me a picayune, so I just skipped out.The Devil's Own|Randall Parrish
Now the Des Moines is a picayune stream, unduly dignified by the appellation of "river."The Road|Jack London
She wrote much for the Picayune and wrote herself into love as well as fame.
adjective Also: picayunish US and Canadian informal
Word Origin 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.