god's penny


often capitalized G
: a penny or small sum paid as earnest money especially on concluding a purchase or hiring a servant
among merchants the god's penny binds the contract of saleFrederick Pollock & F. W. Maitland

called also argentum Dei, denarius dei, denier à dieu

Word History


Middle English godes peny

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of god's penny was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near god's penny

Cite this Entry

“God's penny.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/god%27s%20penny. Accessed 5 Jun. 2023.

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