Definition of penny ante in English:

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penny ante


[mass noun] chiefly North American
1Poker played for very small stakes.
Example sentences
  • More importantly, it sets the stage for a debt spiral that makes runaway credit card balances look like penny ante poker.
  • He delighted in working alongside ordinary employees and playing penny ante poker with them during breaks.
  • The pleasure of these sorts of articles comes not from laughing at the subjects' penny ante aspirations, or wincing at their foibles, but in the very real connection between them and the journalist.
1.1 [as modifier] informal Petty; contemptible: a penny-ante scandal of little substance
More example sentences
  • What it has evolved into is that people are doing alternative sentencing for every little penny-ante deal that comes down the pike, and a lot of that is legislatively mandated.
  • Besides, we're not interested in penny-ante crimes like that.
  • Law enforcement money is largely spent on violent crimes and high-dollar white-collar fraud, not the penny-ante stuff that tends to only disrupt, not destroy, the lives of citizens.

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