WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
pen•ny /ˈpɛni/USA pronunciation   n., [countable]pl.  pen•nies, (esp. when thought of as a group for 2, 3. 11. in Unabridged dictionary) pence. 
  1. Currencya unit of money of different nations, as Australia, Canada, and the U.S., a coin equal to 1100 of a dollar;
    one cent.
  2. CurrencyAlso called new penny. a unit of money of the United Kingdom, a coin equal to 1100 of a pound.
  3. Currencya unit of money equal to 1240 of the former British pound or to 112 of the former British shilling.
  4. Currencya unit of money of Ireland, equal to 1100 of the Irish pound.
  5. a sum of money: [every + ~]to spend every penny to send his kids to college (= to spend all of one's money).[with a negative word or phrase]:He hasn't got a penny to his name (= He has no money).
  1. Idiomsa bad penny, someone or something undesirable.
  2. a penny for your thoughts, (used to ask the listener what he or she is thinking about):"A penny for your thoughts?''— "Oh, I was thinking of the last time we were in Paris.''
  3. Idioms, Informal Termsa pretty penny, a great sum of money:spent a pretty penny fixing up their house.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
pen•ny  (penē),USA pronunciation n., pl.  pen•nies,  (esp. collectively for 2, 3) pence, adj. 
  1. Currencya bronze coin, the 100th part of the dollars of various nations, as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States;
    one cent.
  2. CurrencyAlso called  new penny. a bronze coin and monetary unit of the United Kingdom and various other nations, the 100th part of a pound. Abbr.: p
  3. Currencya former bronze coin and monetary unit of the United Kingdom and various other nations, the 12th part of a shilling: use phased out in 1971. Abbr.: d.
  4. a sum of money:He spent every penny he ever earned.
  5. Buildingthe length of a nail in terms of certain standard designations from twopenny to sixtypenny.
  6. Idiomsa bad penny, someone or something undesirable.
  7. a pretty penny, [Informal.]a considerable sum of money:Their car must have cost them a pretty penny.
  8. British Terms, Idioms[Chiefly Brit. Slang.]spend a penny, to urinate: from the former cost of using a public lavatory.
  9. Idiomsturn an honest penny, to earn one's living honestly;
    make money by fair means:He's never turned an honest penny in his life.

  1. Stock Exchange, Businessof, pertaining to, or being penny stock:frenzied speculation in the penny market.
pennied, adj. 
  • WGmc or Gmc *pandingaz, probably equivalent. to *pand- pawn2 + *-ingaz -ing3
  • Old English);
  • Middle English peni, Old English penig, pænig, pen(n)ing, pending, cognate with Old Frisian penning, panning, Old Saxon, Dutch penning, Old High German pfenning, phantinc, phenting (German Pfennig), Old Norse penningr (perh. bef. 900

Pen•ny  (penē),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. a female given name, form of  Penelope. 

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
penny /ˈpɛnɪ/ n ( pl pennies, pence /pɛns/)
  1. (in Britain) a bronze coin having a value equal to one hundredth of a pound
  2. (in Britain before 1971) a bronze or copper coin having a value equal to one twelfth of a shilling or one two-hundred-and-fortieth of a pound
  3. a former monetary unit of the Republic of Ireland worth one hundredth of a pound
  4. ( pl pennies) (in the US and Canada) a cent
  5. a coin of similar value, as used in several other countries
  6. (used with a negative) informal chiefly Brit the least amount of money: I don't have a penny
  7. a pretty pennyinformal a considerable sum of money
  8. spend a pennyBrit informal to urinate
  9. the penny droppedinformal chiefly Brit the explanation of something was finally realized
Etymology: Old English penig, pening; related to Old Saxon penni(n)g, Old High German pfeni(n)c, German Pfennig
'a pretty penny' also found in these entries:

Report an inappropriate ad.