Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[pen-ee-uh-lahy-ner] /ˈpɛn i əˈlaɪ nər/
noun, Chiefly British Archaic.
a hack writer.
Origin of penny-a-liner
1825-35; penny-a-line (of writing) paid for at the rate of a penny per line + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for penny-a-liner
Historical Examples
  • You don't want me to be a penny-a-liner all my life, sweetheart, do you?

  • He is a music master, or a penny-a-liner, or a third-rate artist.

    Daisy Miller Henry James
  • The penny-a-liner has long been the butt of a heartless world.

    About London J. Ewing Ritchie
  • So that a philosopher may say we as well as a monarch or a penny-a-liner.

    From the Oak to the Olive Julia Ward Howe
  • Winter, go and bring joy to the heart of some penny-a-liner by giving him that item.

  • From the penny-a-liner to the artist and thinker, the demand for their labour continually increases.

    Woman and Labour Olive Schreiner
  • Motherhood to-day is on the lips of every penny-a-liner, every social patchworker and political climber.

  • Mr. Hughes speaks, in the style of a penny-a-liner, of Tennyson's "amazing and unparalleled popular influence."

    Flowers of Freethought George W. Foote
  • But this "penny-a-liner," as the Doctor indignantly called him, had attacked him in his tenderest point.

    Dr. Wortle's School

    Anthony Trollope
  • The Emperor has thrown him up, and there's no one outside a penny-a-liner cares two pinches for him or what becomes of him.

    Hurricane Island

    H. B. Marriott Watson
British Dictionary definitions for penny-a-liner


(rare) a hack writer or journalist
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for penny-a-liner

Word Value for penny

Scrabble Words With Friends