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Word of the Day
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Definitions for picayune

  1. of little value or account; small; trifling: a picayune amount.
  2. petty, carping, or prejudiced: I didn't want to seem picayune by criticizing.
  3. (formerly, in Louisiana, Florida, etc.) a coin equal to half a Spanish real.

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Citations for picayune
...William Arthur Deacon, the more influential critic of the Toronto Globe and Mail, was equally picayune. Mavis Gallant, The Moslem Wife and Other Stories, 1994
So she had never abandoned the Eucharist; without it, she felt the Mass, and all of the Church, would be only ideas she could get at home from books; and because of it, she overlooked what was bureaucratic or picayune about the Church. Andre Dubus, Dancing After Hours, 1996
Origin of picayune
Picayune is rooted in the Provençal word picaioun which meant "small copper coin." It is likely derivative of an onomatopoetic base pikk- which sounds like the process of beating and coining copper.
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