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picayune

[pik-ee-yoon, pik-uh-] /ˌpɪk iˈyun, ˌpɪk ə-/
adjective, Also, picayunish, Informal.
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.
noun
3.
(formerly, in Louisiana, Florida, etc.) a coin equal to half a Spanish real.
4.
any small coin, as a five-cent piece.
5.
Informal. an insignificant person or thing.
Origin
1780-1790
1780-90; < Provençal picaioun small copper coin (compare French picaillons), derivative of an onomatopoetic base *pikk- beat, here referring to the coining of coppers
Related forms
picayunishly, adverb
picayunishness, noun
Synonyms
1. trivial, insignificant. 2. narrow-minded.

Picayune

[pik-uh-yoon, pik-ee-] /ˌpɪk əˈyun, ˌpɪk i-/
noun
1.
a town in SE Mississippi.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for picayune
  • Good humored writing is far too rare a commodity for anyone to be picayune about it.
  • The holiday season is that special time of the year when my being picayune brings added delight to my heart.
  • We have to answer this question at the macroscopic level, not by examining the learning of some picayune item.
  • See what else you can find to be picayune about in my comment.
  • Generally, the feds don't seem to bring picayune cases to court.
  • But the picayune has a habit of occasionally discovering things that are not so.
British Dictionary definitions for picayune

picayune

/ˌpɪkəˈjuːn/
adjective (US & Canadian, informal)
1.
of small value or importance
2.
mean; petty
noun
3.
the half real, an old Spanish-American coin
4.
(US) any coin of little value, esp a five-cent piece
Derived Forms
picayunishly, adverb
picayunishness, noun
Word Origin
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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Word Origin and History for picayune
picayune
1804, "coin of small value," probably from Louisiana Fr. picaillon "coin worth 5 cents," earlier the Fr. name of an old copper coin of Savoy (1750), from Prov. picaioun "small copper coin," from picaio "money," of uncertain origin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Difficulty index for picayune

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for picayune

15
18
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