far·​thing ˈfär-t͟hiŋ How to pronounce farthing (audio)
: a former British monetary unit equal to ¹/₄ of a penny
: a coin representing this unit
: something of small value : mite

Examples of farthing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Weekend activities include walking tours, a ghost tour, games, a scavenger hunt for children, living history actors, flower and turkey carving demonstrations, and bikers on penny farthings, as well as the usual lively market scene. Olivia McCormack, Washington Post, 9 Nov. 2023 Every farthing advances the cause, and is celebrated here at NR HQ. Rich Lowry, National Review, 2 Oct. 2023 One woman, dressed like a suffragette, propelled herself on a three-wheeled contraption that resembled a penny-farthing. Peter Slevin, The New Yorker, 30 July 2022 My next bike, the red-and-yellow Big Wheel, had a lot in common with a velocipede known as the penny-farthing, which was invented in the eighteen-seventies. The New Yorker, 23 May 2022 Every farthing of the cost, All the dreaded cards foretell, Shall be paid, but from this night Not a whisper, not a thought, Not a kiss nor look be lost. Alan Jacobs, Harper’s Magazine , 27 Apr. 2022 The front wheel of his penny-farthing was 50 inches tall, and Stevens coasted into villages where bicycles had never been seen. Robert Isenberg, Longreads, 26 Apr. 2022 The penny-farthing, with its huge front wheel, seems vaguely ridiculous in retrospect—and also pretty dangerous. Samuel Arbesman, Wired, 26 Jan. 2021 His uncle, James Starley, had developed the penny-farthing in the 1870s. National Geographic, 17 June 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'farthing.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English ferthing, from Old English fēorthung (akin to Middle High German vierdunc fourth part), from Old English fēortha fourth

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of farthing was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near farthing

Cite this Entry

“Farthing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/farthing. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


far·​thing ˈfär-t͟hiŋ How to pronounce farthing (audio)
: a former British unit of money equal to ¼ of a penny
also : a coin representing this unit

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