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See synonyms for cent on Thesaurus.com
  1. one 100th of the dollar, or other basic monetary unit, of various nations, including the United States. Symbol: ¢, c

  2. penny (def. 1): Sorry, I’ve only got two dimes, a nickel, and four cents.

  1. a monetary unit of certain European Union countries, one 100th of a euro.

Origin of cent

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English, from Latin centēsimus “hundredth” (by shortening), equivalent to cent(um) “100” (see hundred) + -ēsimus ordinal suffix

Words that may be confused with cent

Other definitions for cent- (2 of 3)


  1. variant of centi- before a vowel: centare.

Other definitions for cent. (3 of 3)


  1. centigrade.

  2. central.

  1. centum.

  2. century.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use cent in a sentence

  • The Act permits member banks to accept an amount of bills not exceeding 50 per cent.

    Readings in Money and Banking | Chester Arthur Phillips
  • We did not talk much about the past at dinner, except—ah me, how bitterly we regretted our 10 per cent.

  • Up to the present, I have not received a cent from the revolutionists or from the Spanish Government to cover these expenses.

    The Philippine Islands | John Foreman
  • The percentage of gold to the notes—the main demand liability—has, of course, fallen from about 65 to 35 per cent.

    Readings in Money and Banking | Chester Arthur Phillips
  • At present this medium is paper money depreciated, as in the case of the Reichsbank notes, by nearly 30 per cent.

    Readings in Money and Banking | Chester Arthur Phillips

British Dictionary definitions for cent


/ (sɛnt) /

  1. a monetary unit of American Samoa, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Australia, Austria, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Brunei, Canada, the Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Dominica, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guam, Guyana, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Kosovo, Liberia, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, the Marshall Islands, Martinique, Mauritius, Mayotte, Micronesia, Monaco, Montenegro, Namibia, Nauru, the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Réunion, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, the Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Surinam, Swaziland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, the United States, the Vatican City, the Virgin Islands, and Zimbabwe. It is worth one hundredth of their respective standard units

  2. an interval of pitch between two frequencies f 2 and f 1 equal to 3986.31 log (f 2 / f 1); one twelve-hundredth of the interval between two frequencies having the ratio 1:2 (an octave)

Origin of cent

C16: from Latin centēsimus hundredth, from centum hundred

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with cent


see for two cents; not worth a dime (red cent); put in one's two cents.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.