1. A prostrate southern Brazilian plant (Arachis hypogaea) widely cultivated in tropical and warm temperate regions, having yellow flowers on stalks that bend over so that the seed pods ripen underground.
2. The edible, nutlike, oily seed of this plant, used for food and as a source of oil. Also called regionally goober, goober pea.
3. A peanut-shaped piece of polystyrene, used in cushioning items during shipment.
a. A small child. Often used as a term of affection.
b. A person who is regarded as insignificant.
5. peanuts Informal A very small amount of money; a trifling sum.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.