[koh-nee, kuhn-ee]

noun, plural co·neys.

a serranid fish, Epinephelus fulvus, of tropical American waters.

Origin of coney

spelling variant of cony


or co·ney

[koh-nee, kuhn-ee]

noun, plural co·nies.

the fur of a rabbit, especially when dyed to simulate Hudson seal.
the daman or other hyrax of the same genus.
the pika.
a rabbit.
Obsolete. a person who is easily tricked; gull; dupe.

Origin of cony

1150–1200; Middle English, back formation from conyes < Old French conis, plural of conil < Latin cunīculus rabbit, burrow, a word said to be of Iberian orig., according with evidence that the rabbit spread through Europe from NW Africa and the Iberian Peninsula Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for coney

Contemporary Examples of coney

Historical Examples of coney

  • The Coney decided to join a class, and was offered beads to thread.

    Lotus Buds

    Amy Carmichael

  • One day in deep depression of spirits the Coney arrived at the kindergarten.

    Lotus Buds

    Amy Carmichael

  • The moorfowl does not cry there, the coney has no habitation.

    John Splendid

    Neil Munro

  • In a way of speaking, this mendicant of Coney Island was perhaps of this class.

    From Place to Place

    Irvin S. Cobb

  • Shootin' the chutes—say, that Coney stunt seems tame compared to this!

British Dictionary definitions for coney



a variant spelling of cony



noun plural -nies or -neys

a rabbit or fur made from the skin of a rabbit
(in the Bible) another name for the hyrax, esp the Syrian rock hyrax
another name for pika
archaic a fool or dupe

Word Origin for cony

C13: back formation from conies, from Old French conis, plural of conil, from Latin cunīculus rabbit
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

Word Origin and History for coney

c.1200, from Anglo-French conis, plural of conil "long-eared rabbit" (Lepus cunicula) from Latin cuniculus (source of Spanish conejo, Portuguese coelho, Italian coneglio), the small, Spanish variant of the Italian hare (Latin lepus), the word perhaps from Iberian Celtic (classical writers say it is Spanish).

Rabbit arose 14c. to mean the young of the species, but gradually pushed out the older word 19c., after British slang picked up coney as a punning synonym for cunny "cunt" (cf. connyfogle "to deceive in order to win a woman's sexual favors"). The word was in the King James Bible [Prov. xxx:26, etc.], however, so it couldn't be entirely dropped, and the solution was to change the pronunciation of the original short vowel (rhyming with honey, money) to rhyme with boney. In the Old Testament, the word translates Hebrew shaphan "rock-badger." Rabbits not being native to northern Europe, there was no Germanic or Celtic word for them.



see coney.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper