pound

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English, from Old English pund (a pound, weight), from Proto-Germanic *pundą (pound, weight), an early borrowing from Latin pondō (by weight), ablative form of pondus (weight), from Proto-Indo-European *pend-, *spend- (to pull, stretch). Cognate with Dutch pond, German Pfund, Swedish pund.

Noun[edit]

pound (plural pounds) (sometimes pound after numerals)

  1. Short for pound-force, a unit of force/weight.
  2. A unit of mass equal to 16 avoirdupois ounces (= 453.592 37 g). Today this value is the most common meaning of "pound" as a unit of weight.
    • 28 July 2010', Rachel Williams in The Guardian, Mothers who lose weight before further pregnancy 'reduce risks[1]
      Research shows that retaining even one or two pounds after giving birth can make problems more likely in a subsequent pregnancy, experts said, with women who have several children facing a "slippery slope" if they continue to gain weight each time.
  3. A unit of mass equal to 12 troy ounces (≈ 373.242 g). Today, this is a common unit of weight when measuring precious metals, and is little used elsewhere.
  4. (US) The symbol # (octothorpe, hash)
  5. The unit of currency used in the United Kingdom and its dependencies. It is divided into 100 pence.
    • November 11 2012, Carole Cadwalladr in the Observer, Do online courses spell the end for the traditional university?[2]
      For students in developing countries who can't get it any other way, or for students in the first world, who can but may choose not to. Pay thousands of pounds a year for your education? Or get it free online?
    • 1860, George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss, Book 5, Chapter 6
      "Only a hundred and ninety-three pound," said Mr. Tulliver. "You've brought less o' late; but young fellows like to have their own way with their money. Though I didn't do as I liked before I was of age." He spoke with rather timid discontent.
  6. Any of various units of currency used in Cyprus, Egypt, Lebanon, and formerly in the Republic of Ireland and Israel.
    • 1922, James Joyce, Ulysses Episode 4
      He glanced back through what he had read and, while feeling his water flow quietly, he envied kindly Mr Beaufoy who had written it and received payment of three pounds, thirteen and six.
  7. Any of various units of currency formerly used in the United States.
    the Rhode Island pound; the New Hampshire pound
  8. plural form of pound (unit of currency)
    • 2010, Steven Field, Dusty's Fort, ISBN 1445292416, page 33:
      He knocked out cans of warm cola at two pound fifty a time.
Usage notes[edit]
  • Internationally, the "pound" has most commonly referred to the UK pound, £, (pound sterling). The other currencies were usually distinguished in some way, e.g., the "Irish pound" or the "punt".
  • In the vicinity of each other country calling its currency the pound among English speakers the local currency would be the "pound", with all others distinguished, e.g., the "British pound", the "Egyptian pound" etc.
  • The general plural of "pound" has usually been "pounds" (at least since Chaucer), but the continuing use of the Old English genitive or neuter "pound" as the plural after numerals (for both currency and weight) is common in some regions. It can be considered correct, or colloquial, depending on region.

For usage examples of this term, see the citations page.

Synonyms[edit]
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Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English *pound, pond, from Old English *pund (an inclosure), attested by pyndan (to enclose, shut up, dam, impound). Compare also Old English pynd (a cistern, lake).

Noun[edit]

pound (plural pounds)

  1. A place for the detention of stray or wandering animals.
    • 2002, 25th Hour, 00:27:30:
      (Police officer to a dog owner) "He'd better stay calm or I'll have the pound come and get him."
  2. A place for the detention of automobiles that have been illegally parked, abandoned, etc.
  3. The part of a canal between two locks, and therefore at the same water level.
  4. A kind of fishing net, having a large enclosure with a narrow entrance into which fish are directed by wings spreading outward.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Then there came a reg'lar terror of a sou'wester same as you don't get one summer in a thousand, and blowed the shanty flat and ripped about half of the weir poles out of the sand. We spent consider'ble money getting 'em reset, and then a swordfish got into the pound and tore the nets all to slathers, right in the middle of the squiteague season.
Usage notes[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Verb[edit]

pound (third-person singular simple present pounds, present participle pounding, simple past and past participle pounded)

  1. To confine in, or as in, a pound; to impound.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Milton to this entry?)

Etymology 3[edit]

From an alteration of earlier poun, pown, from Middle English pounen, from Old English pūnian (to pound, beat, bray, bruise, crush), from Proto-Germanic *pūnōną (to break to pieces, pulverise). Related to Saterland Frisian Pün (debris, fragments), Dutch puin (debris, fragments, rubbish), Low German pun (fragments). Perhaps influenced by Etymology 2 Middle English *pound, pond, from Old English *pund, pynd, in relation to the hollow mortar for pounding with the pestle.

Alternative forms[edit]

Verb[edit]

pound (third-person singular simple present pounds, present participle pounding, simple past and past participle pounded)

  1. (transitive) To strike hard, usually repeatedly.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 12, Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      She had Lord James' collar in one big fist and she pounded the table with the other and talked a blue streak. Nobody could make out plain what she said, for she was mainly jabbering Swede lingo, but there was English enough, of a kind, to give us some idee.
  2. (transitive) To crush to pieces; to pulverize.
  3. (transitive, slang) To eat or drink very quickly.
    You really pounded that beer!
  4. (transitive, baseball, slang) To pitch consistently to a certain location.
    The pitcher has been pounding the outside corner all night.
  5. (intransitive, of a body part, generally heart, blood, or head) To beat strongly or throb.
    As I tiptoed past the sleeping dog, my heart was pounding but I remained silent.
    My head was pounding.
  6. (transitive, slang) To penetrate sexually, with vigour.
    I was pounding her all night!
  7. To advance heavily with measured steps.
    • 1899, Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, section 1
      We pounded along, stopped, landed soldiers; went on, landed custom–house clerks to levy toll in what looked like a God–forsaken wilderness, with a tin shed and a flag–pole lost in it; landed more soldiers—to take care of the custom–house clerks, presumably.
  8. (engineering) To make a jarring noise, as when running.
    The engine pounds.
Synonyms[edit]
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Noun[edit]

pound (plural pounds)

  1. A hard blow.
Translations[edit]