Definition of cent in English:



  • 1A monetary unit of the US, Canada, and various other countries, equal to one hundredth of a dollar, euro, or other decimal currency unit.

    • ‘I know of a girl working for nine dollars and fifty cents an hour.’
    • ‘Despite US labor laws, it is not uncommon to hear reports of women being paid 50 cents or a dollar an hour and, in other cases, forced to work for years with no pay at all.’
    • ‘Let us assume that on average individuals spend 90 cents and save 10 cents of each additional dollar they receive.’
    • ‘Even vaudeville theaters ranged in price between ten cents and a dollar in the 1890s, and they attracted thousands of working-class visitors each year.’
    • ‘Currently, 92 cents of every dollar spent on conservation payments to farmers is for their retiring environmentally sensitive land from production.’
    • ‘The loans are expected to sell for anywhere between 3 cents and 20 cents to the dollar.’
    • ‘Second, they implausibly erase much of the cost by assuming the Kerry plan would so increase efficiency that taxpayers would get back 30 cents of every dollar spent.’
    • ‘Even so, the imbalance does not alter the economic rule that 3 cents to 5 cents of each dollar of sustained wealth will be spent, helping to boost overall demand.’
    • ‘Just in case our foreign readers aren't sure how stiff a penalty that is, at press time, 100 baht was equal to 2 US dollars and 33 cents.’
    • ‘A cheating dealer will cheat anybody he wants to, whether the person is betting fifty cents or five hundred dollars.’
    • ‘How many cents equal one dollar is not something that is subject to fluctuations.’
    • ‘At the same time, the dollar traded near 88.5 cents against the euro, its lowest level since 17 May.’
    • ‘And it's a cool job, I only work part time, I make seven dollars and five cents the hour and the tips are good.’
    • ‘On the money markets, the US dollar recovered almost 1 cent against the euro to close at $1.0780 against $1.09 two days ago.’
    • ‘Housing continued as the most significant item of household expenditure, accounting for 24 cents in every dollar spent in 2000-01.’
    • ‘There are still a lot of bankrupt assets out there that are selling for 5 cents to 15 cents on the dollar.’
    • ‘A liquor pour cost of 18.3%, for example, means that it cost a little more than 18 cents to generate a dollar of liquor sales.’
    • ‘Currently, less than 36 cents in every dollar spent on nursing facilities is spent directly on care.’
    • ‘Currently, he said, California gets 77 cents back from each dollar it sends to Washington.’
    • ‘She'd given the restaurant all she had in her purse, a grand total of twenty-seven dollars and thirty six cents, the last dollar and thirty-six cents in pennies and nickels.’
    1. 1.1informal A small sum of money.
      ‘she saved every cent possible’
      • ‘Every cent helps, and we're even accepting Canadian Tire money.’
      • ‘Ambitious youngsters in Kentucky used to earn a few cents of spending money by harvesting and selling poke greens.’
      • ‘He said although the provincial Treasury would love to save every cent possible, traffic policing, emergency vehicles and police visibility during this time of the year were a priority.’
      • ‘This amounted to theft on an unprecedented scale, the Papuans said, since they would see barely a cent of the money raised.’
      • ‘To ensure that cash flow and productivity gains aren't blown away by stormy conditions, tight-fisted managers are squeezing value out of every cent.’
      • ‘We fail to understand the huge difference, and everyone is going to save that few extra cents wherever possible.’
      • ‘Every cent of that money should be spent for a good reason, especially in a time of budget difficulties, as a matter of public interest.’
      • ‘Inexpensive ones tend to shed, causing much more grief that the few cents you save are worth.’
      • ‘Save some cents by using dark-brown shadow you probably already have stashed in your makeup bag.’
      • ‘I can invest every cent of taxpayers' money in waste facilities, but that alone will not solve the problem.’
      • ‘If you are wanting every cent of your money to go straight to the grassroots, you may wish to consider the following group.’
      • ‘One of the rare African America hedge fund managers, Bill Thomason says he likes to assess company management face-to-face before committing a cent of his money.’
      • ‘Essentially, it's not illegal to go to Cuba; it's just illegal to spend a cent of U.S. money there.’
      • ‘It's the perception that I'm probably saving a few cents in the long run.’
      • ‘I will ensure that every single cent of money is spent on the project for which it was intended.’
      • ‘Most Americans are dead set against cruelty to animals on factory farms and the concomitant devastation of the environment, even if it were to save them a few cents at the market.’
      • ‘And if people are coming to McDonald's for a particular taste, they are not going to go to Wendy's or Burger King to save a few cents.’
      • ‘Every cent of this money is being spent on those that need it.’
    2. 1.2informal [in singular with negative] Used for emphasis to denote any money at all.
      ‘he hadn't yet earned a cent’
      • ‘We don't have so much as a cent of Rethan money, we don't hold a particular office in the hierarchy of this world, and we don't have information that could be used by someone else.’
      • ‘If film-makers want to make a truly skewed picture, Feds is thankfully offering us a chance not to have to waste a single cent of our hard-earned money on it.’
      • ‘He died this year, aged around 80, without ever seeing a cent of pension money.’
      • ‘Mr John Browne essentially accepted the point regarding Baltimore Harbour, and gave us another promise, but no money - not a cent!’
      • ‘It asked for not one cent of provincial money, and in fact was required to pay a ‘negative subsidy’ of some $30 million a year to the province.’
      • ‘I didn't pocket a single cent of taxpayers' money.’
      • ‘‘Not one cent of taxpayers money has been used in any other than the most proper ethical and moral way,’ he told reporters.’
      • ‘Protests were led by many of New Zealand's top players, none of whom takes a cent in appearance money for their national open.’
      • ‘In total, the US government is spending 625,000 for each of the 2,400 competitors at the Salt Lake City Games - and not a cent of that money will go to any of the athletes.’
      • ‘He claims he will not pay a single cent of money to the Samsas, and perhaps may even call the authorities and file claims against them.’
      • ‘I can't save a cent after paying boarding fees and for meals.’
      • ‘When she did he told her that Chris had signed the papers but he wasn't going to give her a cent of his money but he did want to see her one last time before they went their separate ways for good.’
      • ‘After all, given the Parliamentary taxpayer funded work that they have done in the past, I think we deserve an assurance that not one cent of taxpayer money went into the website.’
      • ‘In other words, one sentence after asserting that Boswell had ‘not taken a cent of public money,’ she observes that he lived daily on public money.’
      • ‘The coffers were bare, with not a solitary cent left to rattle around them but money could, if absolutely necessary, be plucked from somewhere.’
      • ‘Antiabortion groups are against the use of both, and so far, not a cent of federal money has been spent on embryonic stem cell research.’
      • ‘Regarding the financing of the venture, he said not a cent of taxpayers' money went into the Kruger Park.’
      • ‘More humiliating, still, is the fact that Ralston doesn't save a cent by demoting him.’
      • ‘Not one cent of this money, I assure you, has gone for anything serious.’
      • ‘The slot machines have been a huge hit, but Charles swears he hasn't kept a cent of the money they've made.’
  • 2Music
    One hundredth of a half step.

    • ‘In a melodic half step, no "tendency was perceived of the lower tone toward the ... and diatonic semitones are 76.0490 and 117.108 cents wide respectively.’
    • ‘The closest intervals to an equal- tempered, 100-cent half-step are 63 cents or 177.’
    • ‘This proposal defines an easier micro tuning that sets offsets from an equal-tempered half-step by the cent.’


Late Middle English (in the sense a hundred): from French cent, Italian cento, or Latin centum hundred.