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

  • n. A unit of weight equal to 16 ounces (453.592 grams).
  • n. A unit of apothecary weight equal to 12 ounces (373.242 grams). See Table at measurement.
  • n. A unit of weight differing in various countries and times.
  • n. A British unit of force equal to the weight of a standard one-pound mass where the local acceleration of gravity is 9.817 meters (32.174 feet) per second per second.
  • n. The basic monetary unit of the United Kingdom, worth 20 shillings or 240 old pence before the decimalization of 1971. Also called pound sterling.
  • n. See Table at currency.
  • n. The primary unit of currency in Ireland before the adoption of the euro.
  • n. A monetary unit of Scotland before the Act of Union (1707). Also called pound scots.
  • n. The pound key on a telephone.
  • transitive v. To strike repeatedly and forcefully. See Synonyms at beat.
  • transitive v. To beat to a powder or pulp; pulverize or crush.
  • transitive v. To instill by persistent, emphatic repetition: pounded knowledge into the students' heads.
  • transitive v. To assault with heavy gunfire.
  • intransitive v. To strike vigorous, repeated blows: He pounded on the table.
  • intransitive v. To move along heavily and noisily: The children pounded up the stairs.
  • intransitive v. To pulsate rapidly and heavily; throb: My heart pounded.
  • intransitive v. To move or work laboriously: a ship that pounded through heavy seas.
  • n. A heavy blow.
  • n. The sound of a heavy blow; a thump.
  • n. The act of pounding.
  • idiom pound the pavement Slang To travel the streets on foot, especially in search of work.
  • n. A public enclosure for the confinement of stray dogs or livestock.
  • n. A place in which impounded property is held until redeemed.
  • n. An enclosure in which animals or fish are trapped or kept.
  • n. A place of confinement for lawbreakers.
  • transitive v. To confine in or as if in a pound; impound.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Short for pound-force, a unit of force/weight.
  • n. A unit of mass equal to 16 avoirdupois ounces (= 453.592 37 g). Today this value is the most common meaning of "pound" as a unit of weight.
  • n. A unit of mass equal to 12 troy ounces (≈ 373.242 g). Today, this is a common unit of weight when measuring precious metals, and is little used elsewhere.
  • n. The symbol # (octothorpe, hash)
  • n. The unit of currency used in the United Kingdom and its dependencies. It is divided into 100 pence.
  • n. Any of various units of currency used in Cyprus, Egypt, Lebanon, and formerly in the Republic of Ireland and Israel.
  • n. Plural form of pound (unit of currency)
  • n. A place for the detention of stray or wandering animals.
  • n. A place for the detention of automobiles that have been illegally parked, abandoned, etc.
  • n. The part of a canal between two locks, and therefore at the same water level.
  • v. To strike hard, usually repeatedly.
  • v. To crush to pieces; to pulverize.
  • v. To eat or drink very quickly.
  • v. To pitch consistently to a certain location.
  • v. To beat strongly or throb.
  • v. To vigorously sexually penetrate.
  • v. To advance heavily with measured steps.
  • n. A hard blow.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An inclosure, maintained by public authority, in which cattle or other animals are confined when taken in trespassing, or when going at large in violation of law; a pinfold.
  • n. A level stretch in a canal between locks.
  • n. A kind of net, having a large inclosure with a narrow entrance into which fish are directed by wings spreading outward.
  • n. A certain specified weight; especially, a legal standard consisting of an established number of ounces.
  • n. A British denomination of money of account, equivalent to twenty shillings sterling, and equal in value to about $4.86. There is no coin known by this name, but the gold sovereign is of the same value.
  • intransitive v. To strike heavy blows; to beat.
  • intransitive v. To make a jarring noise, as in running.
  • transitive v. To strike repeatedly with some heavy instrument; to beat.
  • transitive v. To comminute and pulverize by beating; to bruise or break into fine particles with a pestle or other heavy instrument.
  • transitive v. To confine in, or as in, a pound; to impound.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To weigh.
  • To wager a pound on.
  • To shut up in a pound; impound; confine as in a pound; hence, to imprison; confine.
  • Figuratively, to keep within narrow limits; cramp; restrain.
  • To form into pounds, bins, or compartments.
  • To beat; strike as with a heavy instrument and with repeated blows; pommel.
  • To inflict; strike: as, to pound blows.
  • To pulverize; break into fine pieces by striking with a heavy instrument; crush; reduce to powder.
  • To strike repeated blows; hammer continuously.
  • To walk with heavy steps; plod laboriously or heavily.
  • n. A fundamental unit of weight or mass.
  • n. A money of account, consisting of 20 shillings, or 240 pence, originally equivalent to a pound weight of silver (or of the alloy used).
  • n. A balance.
  • n. An inclosure, maintained by authority, for confining cattle or other beasts when taken trespassing, or going at large in violation of law; a pinfold. Pounds were also used for the deposit of goods seized by distress.
  • n. A pond.
  • n. In a canal, the level portion between two locks.
  • n. A pound-net; also, either one, inner or outer, of the compartments of such a net, or the inclosure of a gang of nets in which the fish are finally entrapped. See cut under pound-net.
  • n. A blow; a forcible thrust given to an object, thus generally occasioning a noise or report; also, the sound thus produced.
  • n. A compartment in an abattoir in which animals can be kept until they are slaughtered.

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

  • n. 16 ounces avoirdupois
  • n. United States writer who lived in Europe; strongly influenced the development of modern literature (1885-1972)
  • n. the basic unit of money in Great Britain and Northern Ireland; equal to 100 pence
  • v. strike or drive against with a heavy impact
  • v. place or shut up in a pound
  • n. the basic unit of money in Cyprus; equal to 100 cents
  • n. a nontechnical unit of force equal to the mass of 1 pound with an acceleration of free fall equal to 32 feet/sec/sec
  • n. a unit of apothecary weight equal to 12 ounces troy
  • v. move rhythmically
  • v. shut up or confine in any enclosure or within any bounds or limits
  • v. break down and crush by beating, as with a pestle
  • v. hit hard with the hand, fist, or some heavy instrument
  • n. the act of pounding (delivering repeated heavy blows)
  • n. the basic unit of money in Syria; equal to 100 piasters
  • n. the basic unit of money in the Sudan; equal to 100 piasters
  • n. the basic unit of money in Egypt; equal to 100 piasters
  • v. move heavily or clumsily
  • n. the basic unit of money in Lebanon; equal to 100 piasters
  • n. a symbol for a unit of currency (especially for the pound sterling in Great Britain)
  • n. formerly the basic unit of money in Ireland; equal to 100 pence
  • n. a public enclosure for stray or unlicensed dogs
  • v. partition off into compartments


Middle English, from Old English pund, from West Germanic *punda-, from Latin (lībra) pondō, (a pound) by weight; see (s)pen- in Indo-European roots.
Middle English pounden, alteration of pounen, from Old English pūnian.
Middle English, from Old English pund-, enclosure (as in pundfall, pen).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old English pund ("a pound, weight"), from Proto-Germanic *pundan (“pound, weight”), an early borrowing from Latin pondō ("by weight"), ablative form of pondus ("weight"), from Proto-Indo-European *pend-, *spend- (“to pull, stretch”). Cognate with Dutch pond, German Pfund, Swedish pund. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English *pound, pond, from Old English *pund (“an inclosure”), attested by pyndan ("to enclose, shut up, dam, impound"). Compare also Old English pynd ("a cistern, lake"). (Wiktionary)
From an alteration of earlier poun, pown, from Middle English pounen, from Old English pūnian ("to pound, beat, bray, bruise, crush"), from Proto-Germanic *pūnōnan (“to break to pieces, pulverise”). Related to Saterland Frisian Pün ("debris, fragments"), Dutch puin ("debris, fragments, rubbish"), Low German pun ("fragments"). Perhaps influenced by Etymology 2 Middle English *pound, pond, from Old English *pund, pynd, in relation to the hollow mortar for pounding with the pestle. (Wiktionary)



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  • Some people are very patient with me:

    Dear bilby,
    > How do I change interface to metric? Pounds are where we keep stray dogs.
    We don't support metric at the moment -- it's on the todo list. Sorry about that.
    Steve S.

    October 28, 2009