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pound 1 (pound)
1. Abbr. lb.
a. A unit of weight equal to 16 ounces (453.592 grams).
b. A unit of apothecary weight equal to 12 ounces (373.242 grams). See Table at measurement.
2. A unit of weight differing in various countries and times.
a. The primary unit of currency in the United Kingdom, worth 20 shillings or 240 old pence before the decimalization of 1971. Also called pound sterling.
b. See Table at currency.
5. The primary unit of currency in Ireland and Cyprus before the adoption of the euro.
6. A primary unit of currency in Scotland before the Act of Union (1707). Also called pound scots.
7. The pound key on a telephone.

[Middle English, from Old English pund, from West Germanic *punda-, from Latin (lībra) pondō, (a pound) by weight; see (s)pen- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
pound 2 (pound)
v. pound·ed, pound·ing, pounds
a. To strike repeatedly and forcefully, especially with the hand or a tool: pounded the nail with a hammer. See Synonyms at beat.
b. To assault with military force: pounded the bunker with mortars.
c. To beat to a powder or pulp; pulverize or crush: pound corn into meal.
2. To instill by persistent, emphatic repetition: pounded knowledge into the students' heads.
3. To produce energetically, as from forceful use of the hands. Often used with out: "a tinny piano pounding out Happy Birthday down the block" (Laura Kascischke).
4. To cause harm or loss to; affect adversely: stocks that were pounded when energy prices rose.
5. To defeat soundly: pounded their rivals in the season finale.
6. To attack verbally; criticize: was pounded for months in the press.
7. Slang To drink quickly (a beverage, especially an alcoholic one). Often used with back or down: pounded back a few beers after work.
1. To strike vigorous, repeated blows: He pounded on the table.
2. To move along heavily and noisily: The children pounded up the stairs.
3. To pulsate rapidly and heavily; throb: My heart pounded.
4. To move or work laboriously: a ship that pounded through heavy seas.
1. A heavy blow.
2. The sound of a heavy blow; a thump.
3. The act of pounding.
pound the pavement Slang
To travel the streets on foot, especially in search of work.

[Middle English pounden, alteration of pounen, from Old English pūnian.]

pounder n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
pound 3 (pound)
a. An animal shelter, especially one operated by a public agency to house stray or confiscated animals.
b. A public enclosure for the confinement of stray livestock.
a. A tank or submerged cage, as on a boat, in which live fish or shellfish are kept.
b. New England An establishment at which live lobsters are kept and sold, often also offering no-frills restaurant service.
3. A place in which vehicles impounded by the authorities are held until redeemed by their owners.
4. Archaic A prison.
tr.v. pound·ed, pound·ing, pounds
To confine (an animal) in a pound.

[Middle English, from Old English pund-, enclosure (as in pundfall, pen).]

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:

    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.