pound

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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See also: Pound

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /paʊnd/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aʊnd

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English pound, 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. Doublet of pood.

Noun[edit]

pound (plural pounds) (sometimes pound after numerals)

  1. 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.
    • 2010 July 28, Rachel Williams, “Mothers who lose weight before further pregnancy ‘reduce risks’”, in The Guardian[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.
    Synonym: lb
  2. A unit of mass equal to 12 troy ounces (≈ 373.242 g). Today, this is a common unit of mass when measuring precious metals, and is little used elsewhere.
    Synonym: lb t
  3. (US) The symbol # (octothorpe, hash)
    Synonyms: hash, sharp
  4. The unit of currency used in the United Kingdom and its dependencies. It is divided into 100 pence.
    • 2012 November 11, Carole Cadwalladr, “Do online courses spell the end for the traditional university?”, in Observer[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, chapter 6, in The Mill on the Floss, book 5:
      "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.
    Synonyms: £, pound sterling, GBP, quid, nicker
  5. Any of various units of currency used in Egypt, Lebanon, Sudan and Syria, and formerly in the Republic of Ireland, Cyprus and Israel.
    • 1922 February, James Joyce, “[[Episode 4]]”, in Ulysses, London: The Egoist Press, published October 1922, OCLC 2297483:
      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.
    Synonym: punt
  6. Any of various units of currency formerly used in the United States.
    the Rhode Island pound; the New Hampshire pound
    • 2010, Steven Field, Dusty's Fort, →ISBN, page 33:
      He knocked out cans of warm cola at two pound fifty a time.
  7. (informal, non-scientific) Short for pound-force.
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.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

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

  1. (slang, dated, transitive) To wager a pound on.
    • 1854, Dickens, chapter 4, in Hard Times:
      Good-bye, my dear!' said Sleary. 'You'll make your fortun, I hope, and none of our poor folkth will ever trouble you, I'll pound it.
See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English pounde, ponde, pund, from Old English pund (an enclosure), related to Old English 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.
    Synonym: animal shelter
    • 1997 February 24, N. R. Kleinfield, “Robert Sarnoff, 78, RCA Chairman, Dies”, in The New York Times[3], ISSN 0362-4331:
      Mr. Sarnoff also sent to the pound one of the best-known dogs in the world. Nipper, the black-and-white terrier usually depicted peering with head cocked into the horn of a Victrola, listening for “His Master's Voice,” was de-emphasized as a corporate symbol.
  2. (metonymically) The people who work for the pound.
    • 2002, 25th Hour, 00:27:30 from the start:
      (Police officer to a dog owner) "He'd better stay calm or I'll have the pound come and get him."
  3. (Britain) A place for the detention of automobiles that have been illegally parked, abandoned, etc. Short form of impound.
    Synonyms: (UK) car pound, (US) impound lot, (US) impound
    • 1984, Beverly Hills Cop, Paramount Pictures:
      Inspector Douglas Todd: Where did you get a truckload of cigarettes from anyway? / Detective Axel Foley: From the Dearborn Hijacking. / Todd: The Dearborn Hijacking? That bust went down weeks ago. That load's supposed to be in the damn pound!
  4. A section of a canal between two adjacent locks.
    Synonym: reach
  5. 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, in 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.
  6. (Newfoundland) a division inside a fishing stage where cod is cured in salt brine
    Synonym: bulk
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 Wiktionary:Entry layout § 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.
    • c. 1620, anonymous, “Tom o’ Bedlam’s Song” in Giles Earle his Booke (British Museum, Additional MSS. 24, 665):
      When I short haue shorne my sowce face
      & swigg’d my horny barrell,
      In an oaken Inne I pound my skin
      as a suite of guilt apparrell
    • 1644, John Milton, Areopagitica; A speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Unlicenc’d Printing, to the Parlament of England:
      And he who were pleasantly disposed, could not well avoid to liken it to the exploit of that gallant man, who thought to pound up the crows by shutting his park gate.

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.
    Synonyms: hammer, pelt; see also Thesaurus:hit
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 12, in 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.
    • 1964, Bob Dylan (lyrics and music), “Motorpsycho Nitemare”:
      I pounded on a farmhouse / Lookin' for a place to stay / I was mighty, mighty tired / I had come a long, long way
  2. (transitive) To crush to pieces; to pulverize.
    Synonyms: pulverate, triturate
    • 1887, Indian Cookery "Local" for Young Housekeepers: Second Edition (page 67)
      Pound an onion, warm a spoonful of ghee and throw in the onion, brown it slightly, add your curry stuff, brown this till it smells pleasantly, []
    • 1976, Alex Haley, chapter 1, in Roots: The Saga of an American Family:
      It was the hour before the first crowing of the cocks, and along with Nyo Boto and Grandma Yaisa's clattering, the first sound the child heard was the muted, rhythmic bombpabombpabomp of wooden pestles as the other women of the village pounded couscous grain in their mortars, preparing the traditional breakfast of porridge that was cooked in earthen pots over a fire built among three rocks.
  3. (transitive, slang) To eat or drink very quickly.
    Synonyms: bolt, down, chug; see also Thesaurus:eat, Thesaurus:drink
    You really pounded that beer!
    • 2007, “Fire Marshall Willy”, performed by The Dreadnoughts:
      The sounds of a house-party rolled down the street / So we pounded our Pilsner and leapt to our feet
  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.
    • 1936, Ernest Hemingway, The Short, Happy Life of Francis Macomber:
      It was now about three o’clock in the morning and Francis Macomber, who had been asleep a little while after he had stopped thinking about the lion, wakened and then slept again, woke suddenly, frightened in a dream of the bloody-headed lion standing over him, and listening while his heart pounded, he realized that his wife was not in the other cot in the tent.
  6. (transitive, vulgar, slang) To penetrate sexually, with vigour.
    Synonyms: drill, get up in, nail, poke; see also Thesaurus:copulate with
    I was pounding her all night!
    • 2008, Gucci Mane (lyrics and music), “Bachelor Pad”, in The Movie:
      She acting, so I'm attacking, try break the mattress / Sexy, so I suggested to switch to sideways / Pounded for 'bout a hour she said she tired
  7. To advance heavily with measured steps.
    • 1899 February, Joseph Conrad, “The Heart of Darkness”, in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, volume CLXV, number M, New York, N.Y.: The Leonard Scott Publishing Company, [], OCLC 1042815524, part I:
      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.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
See also[edit]

Noun[edit]

pound (plural pounds)

  1. A hard blow.
    Synonym: pounding
Translations[edit]

Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old English pund, in turn from Proto-Germanic *pundą, from Latin pondō.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

pound (plural poundes or pounden or pound)

  1. A measurement for weight, most notably the Tower pound, merchant's pound or pound avoirdupois, or a weight of said measurement.
  2. A pound or other silver coin (including ancient coins), weighing one Tower pound of silver.
  3. Money or coinage in general, especially a great amount of it.

Descendants[edit]

  • English: pound
  • Scots: pund, poond

References[edit]