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po·ny (pōnē)
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n. pl. po·nies
1. A horse of any of several stocky breeds that are small in size when full grown, such as the Shetland pony.
2.
a. Informal A racehorse.
b. Sports A polo horse.
3. Something small for its kind, especially a small glass for beer or liqueur.
4. A word-for-word translation of a foreign language text, especially one used as an aid in studying or test-taking. Also called crib, trot.
5. Chiefly British The sum of 25 pounds.
tr.v. po·nied, po·ny·ing, po·nies
To lead (a horse) with another horse.
Phrasal Verb:
pony up Slang
To pay (money owed or due).

[Probably from obsolete French poulenet, diminutive of poulain, colt, from Late Latin pullāmen, young of an animal, from Latin pullus; see pau-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots. Pony up, possibly from Early Modern English legem pone, money down, cash payment, from Latin lēgem pōne, the first two words of the Vulgate translation of Psalms 119:33 (Legem pone mihi, domine, viam iustificationum tuarum, “Teach me, O Lord, the ways of thy statutes”), sung at Matins on Lady Day (March 25), a traditional quarter day when debts were paid : lēgem, accusative of lēx, law; see LEGAL + pōne, imperative singular of pōnere, to put; see POSITION.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 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:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    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.

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