American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A horse of a breed developed in England, having a gait characterized by pronounced flexion of the knee.
- n. A trotting horse suited for routine riding or driving; a hack.
- n. A coach or carriage for hire.
- v. To cause to become banal and trite through overuse.
- v. To hire out; let.
- adj. Banal; trite.
- adj. Having been hired.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A horse kept for riding or driving; a pad; a nag.
- n. A horse kept for hire; a horse much used; a hack.
- n. A coach or other carriage kept for hire. Also called hackney-coach.
- n. A person accustomed to drudgery; a person ready to be hired for any drudgery or dirty work; a hireling.
- n. A prostitute.
- n. A payment in hire or as in hire.
- Let out, employed, or done for hire; drudging; mercenary.
- To wear, weary, or exhaust by frequent or excessive use, as a horse; hence, to render worn, trite, stale, etc., as by repetition.
- To ride or drive as a hackney.
- n. Specifically, a breed of horses which combines thoroughbred blood with that of the English shire horse or cart-horse and also that of the native Irish horse. A hackney is a horse of moderate size, but over 14 hands, compact build, good action and good disposition, not so heavy as a coach-horse nor so ‘leggy’ as a hunter. The term is used in England much as roadster or driver is used in the United States, but includes horses for riding as well as for driving.
- n. archaic An ordinary horse.
- n. A carriage for hire or a cab.
- n. A horse used to ride or drive.
- n. A breed of English horse.
- adj. not comparable Offered for hire.
- v. To make uninteresting or trite by frequent use.
- v. To use as a hackney.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A horse for riding or driving; a nag; a pony.
- n. A horse or pony kept for hire.
- n. A carriage kept for hire; a hack; a hackney coach.
- n. A hired drudge; a hireling; a prostitute.
- adj. Let out for hire; devoted to common use; hence, much used; trite; mean.
- v. To devote to common or frequent use, as a horse or carriage; to wear out in common service; to make trite or commonplace.
- v. To carry in a hackney coach.
- n. a compact breed of harness horse
- n. a carriage for hire
- Probably from Hackney, formerly a town, now a borough of London, used for grazing horses before sale, or from Old French haquenee ("ambling mare for ladies"), Latinized in England to hakeneius (though some recent French sources report that the English usage predates the French) (Wiktionary)
- Middle English hakenei, probably after Hakenei, Hackney, a borough of London, England, where such horses were raised. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“When those involved were expelled after a huge public row over all sorts of things to do with how the party in hackney was run (at the time the press described the expellees as the good guys - they weren't) then it became the party they joined (ie the Lib Dems) who took it up.”
“To that end I called a hackney-coach, not greatly caring, I confess it, to be seen in broad daylight in London streets with such an astonishing pair of guys as poor old Ruffiano and his friend.”
“I was not content to let him go: But presently we called a hackney-coach, and myself and him, and major Tasker went, and carried that money to Mr. Tryon.”
“When she went away, I called a hackney-coach for her, and getting behind it, went home with her to her lodgings.”
“Then they called a hackney-coach, which conveyed them to an inn, where they were furnished with a chariot and six, in which they set forward for”
“Sir ROGER told me further, that he looked upon it to be very good for a man whilst he staid in town, to keep off infection, and that he got together a quantity of it upon the first news of the sickness being at _Dantzick_: When of a sudden, turning short to one of his servants who stood behind him, he bid him call a hackney-coach, and take care it was an elderly man that drove it.”
“Sir Roger told me further, that he looked upon it to be very good for a man whilst he stayed in town, to keep off infection, and that he got together a quantity of it upon the first news of the sickness being at Dantzick: when of a sudden, turning short to one of his servants who stood behind him, he bid him call a hackney-coach, and take care it was an elderly man that drove it.”
“Some people want a discreet vehicle to turn up for them, that's why they don't call a hackney carriage.”
“Mr Singleton proposed calling a hackney coach, she consented, and they stopt for it at the church porch.”
““And here is my carriage,” he added, calling a hackney cab.”
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