- in the United Kingdom and certain other countries,
- a monetary unit equal to of a poundin full new penny: abbrev. p
- before 1971, a monetary unit equal to of a shilling: abbrev. d
- a coin worth one penny
- a monetary unit equal to of a pound
- a U.S. or Canadian cent
- any of several other low-value coins, as a denarius
- a sum of money: now chiefly in the following phrases
Origin of pennyMiddle English peny from Old English penig, pening, akin to German pfennig: from uncertain or unknown; perhaps early West Germanic borrowing from Classical Latin pannus, cloth: see pawn
a pretty penny
turn an honest penny
- costing a (specified) number of pennies
- having a size designated as (a specified number): a sixpenny nail is larger than a fourpenny nail, but the numbers in their designations do not specify units of length, weight, etc.
- In the United States and Canada, the coin that is worth one cent.
- pl. pence, a. Abbr. p. A coin used in Great Britain since 1971, worth 1100 of a pound. Also called new penny .b. Abbr. d. A coin formerly used in Great Britain, worth 112 of a shilling or 1240 of a pound.c. A coin formerly used in the Republic of Ireland, worth 1100 of a pound.d. A coin used in various dependent territories of the United Kingdom.
- Any of various coins of small denomination.
- A sum of money.
Origin of pennyMiddle English an English coin from Old English penig
(plural pennies or pence)
- (historical) In the United Kingdom and Ireland, a copper coin worth 1/240 of a pound sterling or Irish pound before decimalisation. Abbreviation: d.
- In the United Kingdom, a copper coin worth 1/100 of a pound sterling.
- (historical) In Ireland, a coin worth 1/100 of an Irish pound before the introduction of the euro. Abbreviation: p.
- In the US and Canada, a one-cent coin, worth 1/100 of a dollar. Abbreviation: Â¢.
- In various countries, a small-denomination copper or brass coin.
- A unit of nail size, said to be either the cost per 100 nails, or the number of nails per penny. Abbreviation: d.
- Money in general.
- to turn an honest penny
The plural pence is used as a unit of currency. The plural is pennies is used for other cases, in particular when referring to multiple individual coins.
(third-person singular simple present pennies, present participle pennying, simple past and past participle pennied)
- (slang) To jam a door shut by inserting pennies between the doorframe and the door.
- Zach and Ben had only been at college for a week when their door was pennied by the girls down the hall.
- (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.