half·​pen·​ny ˈhāp-nē How to pronounce halfpenny (audio)
 US also  ˈhaf-ˌpe-nē,
plural halfpence ˈhā-pən(t)s How to pronounce halfpenny (audio)
 US also  ˈhaf-ˌpen(t)s,
or halfpennies : a formerly used British coin representing one half of a penny
: the sum of half a penny
: a small amount
halfpenny adjective

Examples of halfpenny in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In nineteenth-century England, tailors would place old halfpennies in the pockets of a man’s new suit for good luck. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, 18 Sep. 2023 The cost of providing the training, closing the stores and any loss of sales due to boycotting customers won’t show up until the fiscal third quarter when William Blair estimates up to a halfpenny penalty to earnings per share. Julie Jargon, WSJ, 25 Apr. 2018

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

Word History

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of halfpenny was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near halfpenny

Cite this Entry

“Halfpenny.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/halfpenny. Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


half·​pen·​ny ˈhāp-(ə-)nē How to pronounce halfpenny (audio)
 U.S. also  ˈhaf-ˌ-pen-ē,
plural halfpence
 U.S. also  ˈhaf-ˌpen(t)s,
or halfpennies
: a former British coin representing one half of a penny

More from Merriam-Webster on halfpenny

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