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American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
(Currencies) another name for penny1
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
n., pl. pen•nies, (esp. collectively for 2,3,11 ) pence.
1. a monetary unit of various nations, as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the U.S., equal to 1/100 of a dollar; one cent.
2. Also called new penny. a monetary unit of the United Kingdom, equal to 1/100 of a pound.
3. a monetary unit equal to 1/240 of the former British pound or to 1/12 of the former British shilling.
4. a unit of currency in the Republic of Ireland, equal to 1/100 of the punt.
5. a sum of money: to spend every penny.
6. the unit of measurement describing the size of a nail in standard designations from twopenny to sixtypenny. Abbr.: dIdioms:
1. a bad penny, someone or something undesirable.
2. a pretty penny, a considerable sum of money.
3. turn an honest penny, to earn one's living honestly.
[before 900; Middle English peni, Old English penig, pænig, pen(n)ing, c. Old Frisian, Old Saxon, Dutch penning, Old High German pfenning (German Pfennig), Old Norse penningr (perhaps < Old English); < West Germanic *pandingaz, probably =*pand- pawn2 + *-ingaz -ing3]
a combining form for adjectives denoting nail sizes: sixpenny; eightpenny.Abbr.: d
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