Adjective "Picayune" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Of little value or significance; petty.
  1. 'In short, save for the picayune fact he had no bus-driving credentials, he was the perfect bus driver.'
  2. 'From all accounts, they are motivated solely by the desire to protect the Dear Leader from any picayune criticism of his divinely inspired policies.'
  3. 'I don't suppose many alpinists would have committed such a picayune ascent to paper, but I found the exercise useful.'
  4. 'Having fewer picayune regulations might lead coaches to commit more strongly to those that matter.'
  5. 'Yet beside these we find other sources suggesting that it is not appropriate to be too picayune.'
  6. 'Governments now claim to have a mandate for a battery of items in the manifesto, however picayune each may be.'
  7. 'The exercise of judicial discretion in a case such as the present may seem at first blush a picayune matter.'
  8. 'Don't think this was a picayune issue with no larger consequences.'


A small coin of little value, especially a 5-cent piece.
  1. 'While still agonizing over this traumatic separation, he is approached by a white man who offers him a 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. 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.

More examples(as adjective)

"works can be picayune."

"squabblings can be picayune."

"projects can be picayune."

"possessions can be picayune."

"newspapers can be picayune."

More examples++


Early 19th century: from French picaillon, denoting a Piedmontese copper coin, also used to mean ‘cash’, from Provençal picaioun, of unknown ultimate origin.