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Houghton Mifflin

pen·ny  audio  (pn) KEY 

pl. pen·nies
  1. A unit of currency in Ireland and the United Kingdom. See Table at currency.
  2. In the United States and Canada, the coin that is worth one cent.
  3. pl. pence  (pns) KEY 
    1. Abbr. p. A coin used in Great Britain since 1971, worth 1/100 of a pound. Also called new penny.
    2. Abbr. d. A coin formerly used in Great Britain, worth 1/12 of a shilling or 1/240 of a pound.
  4. Any of various coins of small denomination.
  5. A sum of money.
  6. One of a set of colored, usually sleeveless shirts worn as a temporary team uniform, as when scrimmaging.

pretty penny
A considerable sum of money: I paid a pretty penny for that ring.

Middle English, an English coin, from Old English penig

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