Definition of hackney in English:

hackney

Syllabification: hack·ney
Pronunciation: /ˈhaknē
 
/

noun (plural hackneys)

historical
  • 1A horse or pony of a light breed with a high-stepping trot, used in harness.
    More example sentences
    • As the hackney rolled forth the meaning of Caroline's answer registered in Charlotte's mind.
    • You'd feel for all the other taxi drivers and hackneys, particularly those working at night.
    • He said the only problem taxi drivers had with the proposed new code was the proposal that all taxis, hackneys and limousines be fitted with a front passenger swivel seat to facilitate entry and exit for people with reduced mobility.
  • 1.1 [usually as modifier] A horse-drawn vehicle kept for hire: a hackney coach
    More example sentences
    • Taxi licensing is dealt with by local authorities and Ribble Valley Council currently has 26 operators, 66 private hire vehicles, 49 hackney cabs and 81 drivers on its books.
    • One means was, of course, new taxation, which was imposed on salt, stamps, hackney coaches, and, especially, on land.
    • And three-quarters of private hire taxis and 55 per cent of hackney cabs stopped for roadside checks were discovered to have faults.

Origin

Middle English: probably from Hackney in East London, England, where horses were pastured. The term originally denoted an ordinary riding horse (as opposed to a warhorse or draft horse), especially one available for hire: hence hackney carriage or coach, and the verb hackney meaning 'use (a horse) for general purposes', later 'make commonplace by overuse' (see hackneyed).

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