or piss-ant

  1. Slang: Vulgar. insignificant or worthless.

Origin of pissant

1655–65, in sense “ant”; piss + ant, probably orig. on the model of pismire
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for pissant


  1. an insignificant or contemptible person
  1. insignificant or contemptible

Word Origin for pissant

C17: from piss + ant
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

Word Origin and History for pissant

1660s, "an ant," from first element of pismire (q.v.) + ant. Meaning "contemptible, insignificant person" is from 1903.

"[B]y sun-down [the gals] come pourin out of the woods like pissants out of an old log when tother end's afire." ["Dick Harlan's Tennessee Frolic," in collection "A Quarter Race in Kentucky," Philadelphia, 1846]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper