What does penny mean?

Definitions for penny
ˈpɛn ipen·ny

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word penny.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. pennynoun

    a fractional monetary unit of Ireland and the United Kingdom; equal to one hundredth of a pound

  2. penny, cent, centimenoun

    a coin worth one-hundredth of the value of the basic unit


  1. pennynoun

    In the United Kingdom and Ireland, a copper coin worth 1/240 of a pound sterling or Irish pound before decimalisation. Abbreviation: d.

  2. pennynoun

    In the United Kingdom, a copper coin worth 1/100 of a pound sterling.

  3. pennynoun

    In Ireland, a coin worth 1/100 of an Irish pound before the introduction of the euro. Abbreviation: p.

  4. pennynoun

    In the US and Canada, a one-cent coin, worth 1/100 of a dollar. Abbreviation: u00A2.

  5. pennynoun

    In various countries, a small denomination copper or brass coin.

  6. pennynoun

    A unit of nail size, said to be either the cost per 100 nails, or the number of nails per penny. Abbreviation: d.

  7. pennyverb

    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.

  8. pennyverb

    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.

  9. Pennynoun

    A diminutive of the female given name Penelope.

  10. Etymology: From penning, pennig, from panningaz, of origin.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. PENNYnoun

    plural pence.

    Etymology: penig , Saxon.

    She sighs and shakes her empty shoes in vain,
    No silver penny to reward her pain. Dryden.

    One frugal on his birth-day fears to dine,
    Does at a penny ’s cost in herbs repine. Dryden.

    You shall hear
    The legions, now in Gallia, sooner landed
    In our not fearing Britain, than have tidings
    Of any penny tribute paid. William Shakespeare, Cymbeline.

    We will not lend thee a penny. William Shakespeare.

    Because there is a latitude of gain in buying and selling, take not the utmost penny that is lawful, for although it be lawful, yet it is not safe. Jeremy Taylor, Living Holy.

    Pepper and Sabean incense take;
    And with post-haste thy running markets make;
    Be sure to turn the penny. Dryden.

    It may be a contrivance of some printer, who hath a mind to make a penny. Jonathan Swift, Miscellanies.


  1. penny

    A penny is a unit of currency, often the lowest denomination, used in various countries including the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. In the United States, it is equal to one cent or 1/100 of a dollar and is typically made of a copper-plated zinc. In the UK, it is equal to 1/100 of a pound. The term is also used colloquially to refer to any small coin or amount of money.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Pennyadjective

    denoting pound weight for one thousand; -- used in combination, with respect to nails; as, tenpenny nails, nails of which one thousand weight ten pounds

  2. Pennynoun

    an English coin, formerly of copper, now 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)

  3. Pennynoun

    any small sum or coin; a groat; a stiver

  4. Pennynoun

    money, in general; as, to turn an honest penny

  5. Pennynoun

    see Denarius

  6. Pennyadjective

    worth or costing one penny

  7. Etymology: [Perh. a corruption of pun, for pound.]


  1. Penny

    A penny is a coin or a unit of currency used in several English-speaking countries. It is often the smallest denomination within a currency system.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Penny

    pen′i, n. a copper coin (bronze since 1860), originally silver=112 of a shilling, or four farthings: a small sum: money in general: (N.T.) a silver coin=7½d.: pound, in fourpenny, sixpenny, tenpenny nails=four, six, ten pound weight to the thousand:—pl. Pennies (pen′iz), denoting the number of coins; Pence (pens), the amount of pennies in value.—adjs. Penn′ied, possessed of a penny; Penn′iless, without a penny: without money: poor.—ns. Penn′ilessness; Penn′y-a-lin′er, one who writes for a public journal at so much a line: a writer for pay; Penn′y-a-lin′erism, hack-writing; Penn′y-dog, the tope or miller's dog, a kind of shark; Penn′y-post, a means of carrying a letter for a penny; Penn′y-rent, income; Penn′yweight, twenty-four grains of troy weight (the weight of a silver penny); Penn′y-wis′dom, prudence in petty matters.—adj. Penn′y-wise, saving small sums at the risk of larger: niggardly on improper occasions.—ns. Penn′y-worth, a penny's worth of anything: the amount that can be given for a penny: a good bargain—also Penn′'orth (coll.); Pē′ter's-pence, the name given to an old tribute offered to the Roman Pontiff, now a voluntary contribution.—Penny fee (Scot.), a small wage; Penny gaff (slang), a low-class theatre; Penny mail (Scot.), rent in money, not in kind: a small sum paid to the superior of land; Penny wedding, a wedding ceremonial in Scotland, at which the invited guests made contributions in money to pay the general expenses.—A pretty penny, a considerable sum of money; Turn an honest penny, to earn money honestly. [A.S. penig, oldest form pending, where pend=Eng. pawn, Ger. pfand, Dut. pand, a pledge, all which are from L. pannus, a rag, a piece of cloth.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Penny

    originally a silver coin, weighed in the 7th century 1/240-th of a Saxon pound, but decreased in weight till in Elizabeth's time it was 1/63 of an ounce troy. It was at first indented with a cross so as to be broken for halfpennies and farthings, but silver coins of these denominations were coined by Edward I. Edward VI. stopped the farthings, and the halfpence were stopped in the Commonwealth. Copper coinage was established in 1672. The present coins were issued first in 1860. They are half the size of their predecessors, and intrinsically worth one-seventh of their nominal value.

Suggested Resources

  1. penny

    Song lyrics by penny -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by penny on the Lyrics.com website.

Etymology and Origins

  1. Penny

    From the Danish pennig and German pfennig, a copper coin of full value. This was originally nicked across to admit of being broken into halves and quarters.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. PENNY

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Penny is ranked #3485 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Penny surname appeared 10,249 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 3 would have the surname Penny.

    71.8% or 7,368 total occurrences were White.
    21.4% or 2,197 total occurrences were Black.
    2.8% or 295 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    2.4% or 247 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.7% or 80 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    0.6% or 61 total occurrences were Asian.

British National Corpus

  1. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'penny' in Written Corpus Frequency: #2609

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'penny' in Nouns Frequency: #2336

How to pronounce penny?

How to say penny in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of penny in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of penny in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of penny in a Sentence

  1. Shu Zhang:

    We didn't have a penny, we were losing money, and we couldn't pay wages, every day was perilous.

  2. Evan Leedy:

    This money that is being given to him -- he earned every penny of it.

  3. Benjamin Franklin:

    A penny saved is a penny earned.

  4. Mike Pompeo:

    What I've consistently said with respect to every penny the State Department spends, including our foreign assistance budget, is we've got to get it right. We've got to make sure we are using it in ways that are effective, that American interests are represented in the way we spend that money. That certainly includes our foreign assistance program.

  5. Ed Patru:

    If you accept the faulty premise that political contributions create a conflict of interest, then any amount is problematic, i don’t remember a single Democrat, citing conflicts of interest, recusing themselves from a vote on billionaires like Penny Pritzker.

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Translations for penny

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"penny." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 1 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/penny>.

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