• synonyms


[ten-pen-ee, -puh-nee]
  1. noting a nail 3 inches (7.6 cm) in length. Symbol: 10d.
  2. worth or costing 10 cents.
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Origin of tenpenny

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50; see origin at ten, penny
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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.

British Dictionary definitions for tenpenny


  1. (prenominal) US and Canadian (of a nail) three inches in length
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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