Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In archery, a measure of weight for arrows, equal to one twelfth of the weight of a new (British) silver shilling: as, a 4s. 6d. arrow.
  • noun A silver coin weighing 22 ½ grains, or the 240th part of a Tower pound.
  • noun In Great Britain, a copper (since 1860 bronze) token coin, of which twelve are equal to a shilling and 240 to a pound sterling.
  • noun In the United States, a cent.
  • noun An insignificant coin or value; a small sum.
  • noun Money in general: as, it cost a pretty penny (a good round sum); to turn an honest penny.
  • noun Pound: only in composition, in the phrases fourpenny, sixpenny, eightpenny, tenpenny nails, designating nails of such sizes that 1,000 will weigh 4, 6, 8, or 10 pounds.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Denoting the weight in pounds for one thousand; -- used in combination, with respect to nails.
  • adjective Worth or costing one penny.
  • noun A former English coin, originally of copper, then of bronze, the twelfth part of an English shilling in account value, and equal to four farthings, or about two cents; -- usually indicated by the abbreviation d. (the initial of denarius).
  • noun Any small sum or coin; a groat; a stiver.
  • noun Money, in general.
  • noun (Script.) See Denarius.
  • noun (Bot.) an annual herb of the Mustard family, having round, flat pods like silver pennies (Thlaspi arvense). Also spelled pennycress.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a kind of shark found on the South coast of Britain: the tope.
  • noun a penurious person; a miser; a niggard. The latter phrase is now obsolete.
  • noun (Bot.), [R.] pennyroyal.
  • noun a post carrying a letter for a penny; also, a mail carrier.
  • noun wise or prudent only in small matters; saving small sums while losing larger; penny-wise; -- used chiefly in the phrase, penny wise and pound foolish.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun historical In the United Kingdom and Ireland, a copper coin worth 1/240 of a pound sterling or Irish pound before decimalisation. Abbreviation: d.
  • noun In the United Kingdom, a copper coin worth 1/100 of a pound sterling.
  • noun historical In Ireland, a coin worth 1/100 of an Irish pound before the introduction of the euro. Abbreviation: p.
  • noun In the US and Canada, a one-cent coin, worth 1/100 of a dollar. Abbreviation: ¢.
  • noun In various countries, a small denomination copper or brass coin.
  • noun A unit of nail size, said to be either the cost per 100 nails, or the number of nails per penny. Abbreviation: d.
  • verb slang To jam a door shut by inserting pennies between the doorframe and the door.
  • verb electronics To circumvent the tripping of an electrical circuit breaker by the dangerous practice of inserting a coin in place of a fuse in a fuse socket.

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

  • noun a coin worth one-hundredth of the value of the basic unit
  • noun a fractional monetary unit of Ireland and the United Kingdom; equal to one hundredth of a pound

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English penning, penniġ, from Proto-Germanic *panningaz, of uncertain origin.

Examples

  • In the U.S. financial markets, the term penny stock commonly refers to any stock trading outside one of the major exchanges (NYSE, NASDAQ or AMEX), and is often considered pejorative.

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  • Bill Eadington, director of the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada-Reno said the term penny slots is a misnomer because most wagers on the devices are much greater.

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  • Bill Eadington, director of the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada-Reno said the term penny slots is a misnomer because most wagers on the devices are much greater.

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  • Bill Eadington, director of the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada-Reno said the term penny slots is a misnomer because most wagers on the devices are much greater.

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  • Bill Eadington, director of the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada-Reno said the term penny slots is a misnomer because most wagers on the devices are much greater.

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  • Bill Eadington, director of the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada-Reno said the term penny slots is a misnomer because most wagers on the devices are much greater.

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  • Bill Eadington, director of the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming at the University of Nevada-Reno said the term penny slots is a misnomer because most wagers on the devices are much greater.

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  • I refer to his inclusion of the term penny dreadful.

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  • Mr. Jay (who lives by supplying the newspapers with short paragraphs relating to accidents, offenses, and brief records of remarkable occurrences in general -- who is, in short, what they call a penny-a-liner) told his landlord that he had been in the city that day and heard unfavourable rumours on the subject of the joint-stock banks.

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  • Mr. Jay (who lives by supplying the newspapers with short paragraphs relating to accidents, offenses, and brief records of remarkable occurrences in general -- who is, in short, what they call a penny-a-liner) told his landlord that he had been in the city that day and heard unfavorable rumors on the subject of the joint-stock banks.

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Comments

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  • On the TV series Sugarfoot, Penny was the horse of fledgling frontier lawyer Tom Brewster (Will Hutchins.)

    February 1, 2008

  • Before decimalisation in UK (15-2-1971) currency used was pounds, shillings and pence.

    Abbreviation: d

    12d = 1 shilling; 20 shillings = £1

    240d = £1

    Penny is also US vernacular for one-cent coin

    July 17, 2008