Definition of cockney in English:


Line breaks: cock|ney
Pronunciation: /ˈkɒkni

noun (plural cockneys)

1A native of East London, traditionally one born within hearing of Bow Bells: Charlie was a cockney by birth, but he’d spent a lot of time abroad
More example sentences
  • A cockney by birth, he signed for United as a trainee in 1991.
  • A cockney by birth, he had been apprenticed to an engraver and had only become a soldier as a volunteer in the invasion scare of 1800.
  • This is usually cited as evidence of British fortitude - the attitude exemplified by cockneys in the heavily bombed East End who told Winston Churchill, ‘We can take it, but give it 'em back.’
1.1 [mass noun] The dialect or accent typical of cockneys: his accent was a peculiar mixture of cockney and American
More example sentences
  • Her accent is a mixture of English cockney and West Country.
  • English accents are not limited to cockney, upper-class twit or Mancunian.
  • It sounds like my friends and I are bunch of characters from Oliver Twist sitting around the table with cockney accents begging for more porridge.
2Australian A young snapper fish (Chrysophrys auratus).


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Of or characteristic of cockneys or their dialect or accent: cockney humour
More example sentences
  • Today he looks back on the chirpy cockney character of the director's earlier work with something approaching distaste.
  • I've got London blood so I haven't struggled with the cockney accent.
  • The woman's husband spoke with a cockney accent.


late Middle English (denoting a pampered child): origin uncertain; it is apparently not the same word as Middle English cokeney 'cock's egg', denoting a small misshapen egg (probably from cock1 + obsolete ey 'egg'). A later sense was 'a town-dweller regarded as affected or puny', from which the current sense arose in the early 17th century.

Definition of cockney in: