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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for pony express
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • What is the future of the pony express and does he expect competition?

    Ticktock and Jim Keith Robertson
  • You gotter be some horseman 'fore you kin ride in the pony express.

    Kiddie the Scout Robert Leighton
  • The pony express” did not remain long on the road, but when it was on, old pike boys say “it kicked up a dust.

    The Old Pike Thomas B. Searight
  • Clearly the Redskins were not out to interfere with the pony express.

    Kiddie the Scout Robert Leighton
  • The people who kept the pony express station were named Humphries.

    Collection of Nebraska Pioneer Reminiscences Nebraska Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution
  • And for a time the pony express did its work and did it well.

    The Age of Invention Holland Thompson
  • This man was located at Julesberg as agent for the pony express line, which was in process of formation.

    Last of the Great Scouts Helen Cody Wetmore
  • This was "Pony Bob's" last experience as a pony express rider.

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 American Heritage® 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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