Definition of sixpence in English:

sixpence

noun

British
  • 1A coin worth six old pence (21/2 p), withdrawn in 1980.

    • ‘Many of the older people in the town, including myself, have memories of the 1950s, when the New Towns Commission decided to increase rents by two shillings and sixpence per week.’
    • ‘In a leather purse was a £5 note, some small notes, and a number of shillings and sixpences above the value of £10.’
    • ‘In 1980, the government announced the withdrawal of the sixpence coin on June 30th.’
    • ‘Best known as the maker of the state's first coinage, issuing shillings, sixpence, and threepence silver coins in 1783, Chalmers's marked domestic silver is exceedingly rare.’
    • ‘In the spirit of the time, a whip-round was carried out and I was soon clutching a fist-full of pennies and ha'pennies to make up my sixpence.’
    • ‘Regarding the purchasing power of a shilling it is a remarkable fact that in 1939 a sixpence would purchase a glass of beer, a packet of Woodbines and a box of matches and leave a halfpenny change.’
    • ‘In 1949, lunch cost seven shillings and sixpence - or 37 pence.’
    • ‘Tea Coffee and other refreshments were always ready and a good meal could be had for one shilling and sixpence.’
    • ‘Haig separated half-crowns, sixpences and other redundant coins out of the pile, then he began to sort the rest into £1 units.’
    • ‘The meters have universal slots which allow the use of tickeys, sixpences and shillings.’
    • ‘Lesley and I were in the school orchestra together in Bury in the days of sixpences and Herman's Hermits.’
    • ‘Back when I was a kid we used to put pennies, thruppences, sixpences, and shillings in our money boxes.’
    • ‘As it was pirated, so the price crept up, ninepence, one shilling, one shilling and sixpence, half-a-crown, and then it came out in instalments.’
    • ‘Mr Harold Boardman, Labour MP for Leigh, is to ask the Secretary to the Treasury on Tuesday whether he is aware of the inconvenience caused in the Manchester district due to the shortage of sixpences and shillings.’
    • ‘Alfred gets nineteen shillings and sixpence for a full week.’
    • ‘Each Monday we took our thruppences and sixpences to school, where for an hour or so the teachers acted as unpaid bank tellers while they entered our weekly savings into our little bank books.’
    • ‘He was paid three shillings and sixpence a week - equivalent to just over 18 pence in today's terms.’
    • ‘The rent was only three shillings and sixpence a week, and a further three shillings and sixpence for a week's breakfasts.’
    • ‘And six coins were recovered including a florin, a sixpence, two pennies and two half pennies.’
    • ‘In very little time my order arrived in a small plastic container and I paid the shilling and sixpence that the meal cost.’
    1. 1.1 The sum of six pence, especially before decimalization (1971).

Phrases

  • on a sixpence

    • informal Used to refer to a manoeuvre that can be performed by a moving vehicle or person within a small area or short distance.

      ‘the car stops on a sixpence’
      • ‘It can turn on a sixpence and go anywhere: up and down kerbs, across pavements, squeezing between bollards at a gentle walking pace.’
      • ‘Trained to turn on a sixpence, these elite dancers are at once quick and mercurial, plastic and realistic, then gracefully classical.’
      • ‘He spins on a sixpence and curls a creamer just wide of the post.’
      • ‘The steering is beefy, the turn-in very sharp, the brakes can stop you on a sixpence, and the acceleration is just mind blowing.’
      • ‘Triumph engineers believed that women were unable to park or manoeuvre in tight spaces and so the car had to be able to turn on a sixpence.’
      • ‘Helped by the variable pitched props, he showed that he could turn it on a sixpence.’
      • ‘No doubt they will teach me how to be graceful on the snow, how to slalom with the best of them and how to stop on a sixpence.’
      • ‘This tank-like thing was almost impossible to drive and I had to follow the camera car, stop on a sixpence and act at the same time.’
      • ‘A cross from Mark Bower fell to him and the striker turned on a sixpence and fired in an unstoppable shot.’
      • ‘He turns on a sixpence and belts the ball towards goal.’

Pronunciation

sixpence

/ˈsɪksp(ə)ns/