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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
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Historical Examples of pony express
During 1860, and until the outbreak of the Civil War, Cody lived the arduous life of a pony-express rider.Buffalo Bill's Spy Trailer
Colonel Prentiss Ingraham
(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
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.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.