see also: Farthing
  • (British) IPA: /ˈfɑː(ɹ).ðɪŋ/

farthing (plural farthings)

  1. (historical) Former British unit of currency worth one-quarter of an old penny; or a coin representing this.
    • 1883, Howard Pyle, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, Chapter V:
      "Nay, Heaven forbid, indeed," quoth Robin, "that I should take from such as thee, jolly fellow! Not so much as one farthing would I take from thee, for I love a fair Saxon face like thine right well—more especially when it cometh from Locksley Town, and most especially when the man that owneth it is to marry a bonny lass on Thursday next. But come, tell me for what price thou wilt sell me all of thy meat and thy horse and cart."
    • 1895, Parliament of Western Australia, Parliamentary Debates, Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly VIII, page 163 ↗:
      We must keep them to the fact that the duty is one and three quarter farthings, or nearly a half-penny in the pound and no more, and any one who tries to work it out any other way is not acting fairly in the matter.
    • 1908, W[illiam] B[lair] M[orton] Ferguson, chapter II, in Zollenstein, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 731476803 ↗:
      I had never defrauded a man of a farthing, nor called him knave behind his back. But now the last rag that covered my nakedness had been torn from me. I was branded a blackleg, card-sharper, and murderer.
  2. (figurative) A very small quantity or value; the least possible amount.
    Synonyms: jot, shred, whit
    • 1927-29, M.K. Gandhi, The Story of My Experiments with Truth, translated 1940 by Mahadev Desai, Part I, Chapter xvi ↗:
      That period of infatuation was not unrelieved by a certain amount of self-introspection on my part. I kept account of every farthing I spent, and my expenses were carefully calculated. Every little item such as omnibus fares or postage or a couple of coppers spent on newspapers, would be entered, and the balance struck every evening before going to bed. That habit has stayed with me ever since, and I know that as a result, though I have had to handle public funds amounting to lakhs, I have succeeded in exercising strict economy in their disbursement, and instead of outstanding debts have had invariably a surplus balance in respect of all the movements I have led.
  3. (obsolete) A division of land.
  • French: farthing
  • Russian: фа́ртинг
Proper noun
  1. Surname

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