Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- (dated) A relatively large nail, three inches (7.62 centimeters) in length.
1841, Charles Dickens, chapter 67, in The Old Curiosity Shop:
- The face, horribly seared by the frequent application of the red-hot poker, and further ornamented by the insertion, in the tip of the nose, of a tenpenny nail, yet smiled blandly in its less lacerated parts.
1909, Joseph A. Altsheler, chapter 3, in The Last of the Chiefs:
- "Al, I could bite a tenpenny nail in half and digest both pieces, too."
- 2001 Aug. 26, Fred Chappell, "He was a man, not a super-rube" (review of Ava's Man by Rick Bragg), Chicago Sun-Times, p. 16C:
- He could still climb a scaffold like a monkey, still drive a ten-penny nail with one measured, massive, dead-on blow.
- tenpenny nail at OneLook Dictionary Search