- a horse for ordinary driving or riding
- a carriage for hire
- Obs. a drudge
Origin of hackneyMiddle English hakene, hakenei, after Hakeney (now Hackney), England
- hired out
- trite; commonplace
- often Hackney A horse of a breed developed in England, having a gait characterized by pronounced flexion of the knee.
- A trotting horse suited for routine riding or driving; a hack.
- A coach or carriage for hire.
transitive verbhack·neyed, hack·ney·ing, hack·neys
- To cause to become banal and trite through overuse.
- To hire out; let.
- Banal; trite.
- Having been hired.
Origin of hackneyMiddle English hakenei, probably after Hakenei, Hackney, a borough of London, England, where such horses were raised.
- (not comparable) Offered for hire; hence, much used; trite; mean.
- hackney coaches
- hackney authors
(third-person singular simple present hackneys, present participle hackneying, simple past and past participle hackneyed)
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)
The senses "a horse" and "(a means of transport) available for hire" derive from the fact that many horses were kept in the London borough of Hackney, and were available for hire. The place name is from Old English Hacan ieg "Hacan's Isle" ("Hook's Island"), referring to dry land in a marsh.