Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

penny

play
noun, often attributive pen·ny \ˈpe-nē\

Simple Definition of penny

  • : a coin or a unit of money equal to 1/100 of a dollar

  • : a coin or a unit of money equal to 1/100 of a British pound

  • : a British coin used before 1971 that was equal to 1/12 of a shilling

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of penny

plural

pennies

play \-nēz\ or

pence

play \ˈpen(t)s\
  1. 1 a :  a monetary unit of the United Kingdom formerly equal to 1240 pound but now equal to 1100 pound b :  a similar monetary unit of any of various other countries in or formerly in the Commonwealth of Nations — see pound at money table c :  a coin representing one penny

  2. 2 :  denarius

  3. 3 plural pennies :  cent

  4. 4 :  a former monetary unit equal to 1100 Irish pound

  5. 5 :  a trivial amount

  6. 6 :  a piece or sum of money <that will cost a pretty penny>

Origin and Etymology of penny

Middle English, from Old English penning, penig; akin to Old High German pfenning, a coin


First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with penny


-penny

adjective combining form pen·ny

Definition of -penny

  1. :  being a (designated) nail size <an eightpenny nail>



Origin and Etymology of -penny

penny; perhaps from the original price per hundred



PENNY Defined for Kids

penny

play
noun pen·ny \ˈpe-nē\

Definition of penny for Students

plural

pennies

\ˈpe-nēz\
  1. 1 :  cent

  2. 2 or plural pence \ˈpens\ :  a coin of the United Kingdom equal to 1100 pound




Learn More about penny


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up penny? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to lessen in amount, effect, or force

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

two-chairs-on-a-pier-by-the-ocean-in-summer

Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?

hiemal brumal estival vernal
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ