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pony express

a former system in the American West of carrying mail and express by relays of riders mounted on ponies, especially the system operating (1860–61) between St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California.
Origin of pony express
An Americanism dating back to 1840-50 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pony express
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And for a time the pony express did its work and did it well.

    The Age of Invention Holland Thompson
  • You gotter be some horseman 'fore you kin ride in the pony express.

    Kiddie the Scout

    Robert Leighton
  • Clearly the Redskins were not out to interfere with the pony express.

    Kiddie the Scout

    Robert Leighton
  • This was "Pony Bob's" last experience as a pony express rider.

  • The pony express was a thing of the past, and soon the stage-coach would be.

    The Pioneer Trail Alfred Lambourne
  • I thought I heard you say it was sold to the pony express at twenty-five dollars.

    Ticktock and Jim Keith Robertson
  • What is the future of the pony express and does he expect competition?

    Ticktock and Jim Keith Robertson
  • What do I owe the pony express for finding me a good man to handle horses?

    Ticktock and Jim Keith Robertson
British Dictionary definitions for pony express

pony express

(in the American West) a system of mail transport that employed relays of riders and mounts, esp that operating from Missouri to California in 1860–61
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
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pony express in Culture

Pony Express definition

A system of mail service by relays of riders on horses, established in 1860 between Missouri and California, through the Rocky Mountains. It operated for only a year and a half, until a telegraph line eliminated the need for it.

Note: An early advertisement for Pony Express riders is well known: “Wanted: Young, skinny, wiry fellows not over eighteen. Must be expert riders, willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred.”
Note: Buffalo Bill Cody and Wild Bill Hickok were Pony Express riders in their youth.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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