pissant

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From piss + ant, because of the urine-like smell of anthills. Compare pismire.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

pissant (plural pissants)

  1. (dated outside dialects) An ant.
  2. (pejorative) An insignificant person.
  3. (pejorative) A person who adheres strictly to a rule or policy despite current circumstances.
    Their super is a real pissant about break times.
  4. (pejorative) A person seemingly incapable of focusing on anything but the trivial, especially in the sense of trivial or irrelevant criticism.

Quotations[edit]

  • 2005 January 31, The New Yorker, 24:
    “Everyone is saying, ‘You can’t be serious about targeting Iran. Look at Iraq,’” the former intelligence official told me. “But they say, ‘We’ve got some lessons learned—not militarily, but how we did it politically. We’re not going to rely on agency pissants.’ No loose ends, and that’s why the C.I.A. is out of there.”
  • 1993, PJ O'Rourke, Democracy in its diapers in Give war a chance (Picador):
    It is the beauty of well designed fascism that it gives every piss-ant an ant hill to piss from.

Adjective[edit]

pissant (comparative more pissant, superlative most pissant)

  1. Insignificant or unimportant.

Anagrams[edit]


French[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

pissant m (feminine pissante, masculine plural pissants, feminine plural pissantes)

  1. (Quebec, colloquial) funny

Verb[edit]

pissant

  1. Present participle of pisser.

External links[edit]