n. pl. hack·neys
1. often Hackney A horse of a breed developed in England, having a gait characterized by pronounced flexion of the knee.
2. A trotting horse suited for routine riding or driving; a hack.
3. A coach or carriage for hire.
tr.v. hack·neyed, hack·ney·ing, hack·neys
1. To cause to become banal and trite through overuse.
2. To hire out; let.
1. Banal; trite.
2. Having been hired.
[Middle English hakenei, probably after Hakenei, Hackney, a borough of London, England, where such horses were raised.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.