from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Designed and made to sell without concern for quality; cheap.
  • n. A cheap item.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A cheap item designed to attract purchasers of other goods

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Made or contrived for getting small sums of money from the ignorant or unwary.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Something of little value, adapted to attract popular attention and thus secure a quick sale; anything externally attractive, made merely to sell.
  • Made or got up to gain money; put forth merely to sell: as, a catchpenny pamphlet.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. designed to sell quickly without concern for quality


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • His book was a novel; it had the catchpenny cover, and while the romance of life stood neglected at his side he lost himself in that of the circulating library.

    --Henry James, 1893, "The Middle Years", Scribner's Magazine 13: 610

    October 28, 2009