Definition of pony in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpōnē/

noun (plural ponies)

1A horse of a small breed, especially one whose height at the withers is below 14 hands 2 inches (58 inches).
Example sentences
  • He conducted his study using 62 horses and ponies of mixed breeds, from Cob to Connemara, aged between two and 30 years of age.
  • You can enjoy the Wild West Horse, Hound and Music Show, which will feature barrel racing, trick riding, comic horses, Appaloosa ponies and American Quarter Horses.
  • Galloway ponies and running horses - early English racehorses - were bred at Helmsley, on the Earl of Rutland's estate.
1.1 (the ponies) informal, chiefly North American Racehorses: he had been playing the ponies on the side
More example sentences
  • It was his first time at Fair Grounds but playing the ponies is nothing to new to Duc Vo.
  • In fact, it was playing the ponies that's gotten him into this current mess - unless you count throwing a wad of money away chasing a newspaper's success as gambling.
  • Geez, how much had he lost playing the ponies over the years?
2 informal A small drinking glass or the drink contained in it: a pony of vodka
More example sentences
  • In a pony glass, combine the bourbon, brown sugar and simple syrup.
  • Coat a Martini or pony glass with grenadine, pour gin and peppermint schnapps over ice, shake, strain and pour into glass.
3A literal translation of a foreign-language text, used illicitly by students; a trot.
Example sentences
  • Really useful ponies have the original text on one page and the translation on the facing page.
  • Not unlike the ASV, NASB is so painfully literal in places as to read more like a 'pony' than a translation.
4British informal Twenty-five pounds sterling.
Example sentences
  • The opening lyrics include "stick a pony in my pocket", pony being London slang for 25 pounds sterling.
  • Indeed, the amount of 25 pounds sterling - like an equine pony, not overly large, but substantial at the time - was called "a pony."

verb (ponies, ponying, ponied)

[no object] (pony up) North American informal
Pay (money), especially as a contribution or an unavoidable expense: getting ready to pony up for their children’s college education
More example sentences
  • Well, it wouldn't be so bad, I guess, but I haven't got the cash to support that yet, so dumb Cap Guy usually ponies it up which I guess he's getting sick of.
  • They can simply ask for it, and in many cases, ISPs have been more than willing to pony it up.
  • Jeff Henry hopes to see the province eventually pony up more money for students.


Mid 17th century: probably from French poulenet 'small foal', diminutive of poulain, from late Latin pullanus, from Latin pullus 'young animal'.

  • Different as they seem, pony and poultry (Middle English) have the same starting point. Latin pullus meant ‘young animal’, but it tended to be applied specifically to young horses and young chickens. The ‘young horse’ strand became Old French poulain ‘a foal’, and the diminutive form of this, poulenet, was adopted into Scots in the early 18th century as powny, coming into general English usage as pony. The ‘young chicken’ strand is the source of Old French pouletrie, from which we get poultry. See also monkey

Words that rhyme with pony

abalone, Albinoni, Annigoni, Antonioni, baloney, Bodoni, boloney, bony, calzone, cannelloni, canzone, cicerone, coney, conversazione, coronae, crony, Gaborone, Giorgione, macaroni, Manzoni, Marconi, mascarpone, minestrone, Moroni, Mulroney, padrone, panettoni, pepperoni, phoney, polony, rigatoni, Shoshone, Sloaney, stony, Toni, tony, zabaglione

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: po·ny

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