Language: Old English
Origin: penning, penig


pen‧ny S1 [countable]
a) plural pence abbreviation p a small unit of money in Britain. There are 100 pence in one pound:
The bus fare is 80 pence.
a 50p piece (=coin)
A loaf of bread costs 70p.
b) plural pennies a coin worth one penny:
I've only got a few pennies left.
2 plural penniesPEC a coin that is worth one cent in the US or Canada. One hundred pennies are equal to $1.
3 plural pennies or pencePEC written abbreviation d a British unit of money or coin used until 1971. There were 12 pennies in one shilling
twopence/threepence etc
a book costing only sixpence
fourpenny/sixpenny etc
a fourpenny cigar
a threepenny bit (=coin)

not a penny

used to emphasize that someone has no money or that something did not cost any money:
I haven't got a penny on me.
It didn't cost me a penny.
He died without a penny to his name.

every penny

all of an amount of money:
The hotel was expensive but it was worth every penny.
every penny of
He was determined to go to Australia even if it took every penny of his savings.

every penny counts

used to say that money is needed and even a small amount is important:
Every penny counts in the battle to save the rainforests.

the/your last penny

the only money that is left:
She's down to her last penny.

a penny for your thoughts/a penny for them

spoken used to ask someone who is silent what they are thinking about

in for a penny, in for a pound

spoken used to say that because you are already involved in something, you will complete it whatever time, money, or effort is needed:
Oh well, it's done now. In for a penny, in for a pound.

the penny (has) dropped

British English informal used to say that someone has finally understood something that they had not understood before

be two/ten a penny

British English to be very common and easy to get, or cheap - used to show disapproval:
Rings like these are ten a penny.

turn up like a bad penny

British English if someone you dislike turns up like a bad penny, they appear when they are not wanted

; ➔ spend a penny

at spend (5)

; ➔ cost a pretty penny

at pretty2 (6)

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