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[ten-pen-ee, -puh-nee] /ˈtɛnˌpɛn i, -pə ni/
noting a nail 3 inches (7.6 cm) in length. Symbol: 10d.
worth or costing 10 cents.
Origin of tenpenny
late Middle English
late Middle English word dating back to 1400-50; See origin at ten, penny Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for tenpenny
Historical Examples
  • They scowled at him as if they were mad enough to bite off the heads of tenpenny nails.

    Welsh Fairy Tales William Elliott Griffis
  • Like Thoreau, I believe I could live on a tenpenny nail, if it comes to that.

    The Sea and the Jungle H. M. Tomlinson
  • The Examiner has let down its price from a tenpenny to a sevenpenny.

  • You have disgraced your family long enough in that old black rag, or in something made of tenpenny muslin!

    The Tree of Knowledge

    Mrs. Baillie Reynolds
  • I looked at them for a while in wonderment, and at last I threw out a "tenpenny" in the midst.

  • Im a good mind to toss up this tenpenny nail and salt codfish business and get back to the sawdust once more.

  • In fact, I had a worrying night, and got up feeling as if I had been feasting on tenpenny nails and roasted flat-irons.

    Phemie Frost's Experiences Ann S. Stephens
  • He pulled, but it wouldn't come, and he says, says he: ''Pears to me that dod-rotted tack must be a tenpenny nail—it holds on so.'

  • Destruction on you, you nasty beast; let me home I have a tenpenny piece in my pocket for my mother, and she wants snuff.

  • Nails driven through the palms of her hands,—tenpenny nails,—under the hypnotic suggestion that she wasn't being hurt.

    The Faith Healer William Vaughn Moody
British Dictionary definitions for tenpenny


(prenominal) (US & Canadian) (of a nail) three inches in length
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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