Definition of pony in US English:



  • 1A horse of a small breed, especially one whose height at the withers is below 14 hands 2 inches (58 inches).

    • ‘Hundreds of thousands of gallons of water from the RDS on-site well, which can deliver up to 15,000 litres an hour, are being used to irrigate the grounds for the horses and ponies.’
    • ‘Joan introduced them to her pride and joy, the lovely Yorkshire terriers she bred and her three ponies.’
    • ‘I am very happy that my parents protected me and raised me with cats, dogs, a pony and horse.’
    • ‘You do not have to own a pony or horse and can be taught alone or in groups.’
    • ‘The show began on Saturday, July 30 at 10 am with classes for style and appearance for horses and ponies followed by working hunter horses and ponies.’
    • ‘Galloway ponies and running horses - early English racehorses - were bred at Helmsley, on the Earl of Rutland's estate.’
    • ‘However, a pony and two horses - including the injured one called Shauna - were later recovered.’
    • ‘It was a great success with many riders taking the opportunity to school their pony or horse around the excellent course before taking part in the competition.’
    • ‘Warner, who has rescued Thoroughbreds off the racetrack before, plans to keep Big Rut as a lead pony or show horse.’
    • ‘You can enjoy the Wild West Horse, Hound and Music Show, which will feature barrel racing, trick riding, comic horses, Appaloosa ponies and American Quarter Horses.’
    • ‘General Slim listed carrier pigeons, dogs, ponies, mules, horses, bullocks, buffaloes, and elephants as all being used by his Fourteenth Army in the Burma campaign.’
    • ‘She said that the aim of the project was to provide the opportunity for children who wouldn't normally be able to afford it to be able to ride a pony or horse.’
    • ‘The riding school provides group and individual classes for equestrians of all ages and abilities who get to saddle up one of 11 horses and ponies.’
    • ‘By the age of 13, Jemima was gaining fame as a show jumper, qualifying with her pony for the 1987 Horse of the Year Show.’
    • ‘Mrs Lomas said: ‘There might be children or adults who would like a pony or horse.’’
    • ‘Make sure it's a pony or horse who will teach your child, give them confidence, and will be a lot of FUN.’
    • ‘And the pony has the run of her Australian family's home, enjoying spaghetti, pizza, cake, cartoons and beer, all the stuff that horses and ponies seem to like.’
    • ‘He added that Ireland has 75,500 horses and ponies, with thoroughbred horses accounting for an estimated £100 million per annum in exports.’
    • ‘He conducted his study using 62 horses and ponies of mixed breeds, from Cob to Connemara, aged between two and 30 years of age.’
    • ‘There was a farm with a pony, racehorses, Poll Hereford cattle, a Fiat tractor and a bocce course.’
    1. 1.1the poniesNorth American informal Racehorses.
      ‘he had been playing the ponies on the side’
      • ‘In fact, it was playing the ponies that's gotten him into this current mess - unless you count throwing a wad of money away chasing a newspaper's success as gambling.’
      • ‘What we saw were new faces here, which hopefully will return on a regular basis as they learn the nuances of picking the ponies.’
      • ‘Geez, how much had he lost playing the ponies over the years?’
      • ‘When Ralph buys a racehorse, Tony discovers he has a knack for picking the ponies.’
      • ‘Likewise, those who come in to play the ponies received coupons related to the machines.’
      • ‘It was his first time at Fair Grounds but playing the ponies is nothing to new to Duc Vo.’
      • ‘Longtime Devine-watchers pointed to Stan's fondness for playing the ponies, but he's also a basketball and football enthusiast, and has had some preternaturally bad picks.’
      • ‘And yet, there it was, a small but visibly youthful contingent choosing to celebrate a vacation day at Belmont Park playing the ponies.’
      • ‘Even if you're not into playing the ponies, the setting is marvelous and it's a superb place for a picnic.’
  • 2informal A small drinking glass or the drink contained in it.

    ‘a pony of vodka’
    • ‘In a pony glass, combine the bourbon, brown sugar and simple syrup.’
    • ‘Coat a Martini or pony glass with grenadine, pour gin and peppermint schnapps over ice, shake, strain and pour into glass.’
  • 3British informal Twenty-five pounds sterling.

    • ‘Indeed, the amount of 25 pounds sterling - like an equine pony, not overly large, but substantial at the time - was called "a pony."’
    • ‘The opening lyrics include "stick a pony in my pocket", pony being London slang for 25 pounds sterling.’
  • 4US A literal translation of a foreign-language text, used illicitly by students; a trot.

    • ‘Really useful ponies have the original text on one page and the translation on the facing page.’
    • ‘Not unlike the ASV, NASB is so painfully literal in places as to read more like a 'pony' than a translation.’


[with object]pony up
North American
  • Pay (money), especially as a contribution or an unavoidable expense.

    ‘getting ready to pony up for their children's college education’
    • ‘Well, it wouldn't be so bad, I guess, but I haven't got the cash to support that yet, so dumb Cap Guy usually ponies it up which I guess he's getting sick of.’
    • ‘On paper, the decision to dump O'Neal and pony up maximum dollars for the most dynamic 25-year-old the game has ever known is a no-brainer.’
    • ‘Jeff Henry hopes to see the province eventually pony up more money for students.’
    • ‘Puerto Rico, Japan and Mexico all are rich in baseball history and tradition, with a ready-made fan base eager to snap up tickets and pony up for licensed merchandise.’
    • ‘Would it be cheaper for states to pay for fat reduction surgery for their overweight residents, or pony up to cover the hefty long term medical costs of obesity?’
    • ‘Buying this automobile is pretty much an open and shut case of pick your color and pony up the MSRP of $48,900.’
    • ‘The Third Way authors assume liberals will just pony up as usual even if the party chooses a platform carefully tailored to offend no one, and therefore excite no one.’
    • ‘Those of you who do pony up the dough will be quite happy with it.’
    • ‘Why are the Clippers not playing him, and why didn't anyone in the Eastern Conference pony up the dough to sign this guy?’
    • ‘They can simply ask for it, and in many cases, ISPs have been more than willing to pony it up.’
    supply, give, issue, furnish, lay out, come up with, dispense, bestow, impart, produce, yield, bring forth, bear, deliver, donate, contribute, pledge, advance, spare, part with, allocate, distribute, allot, assign, put forward, put up, proffer, present, extend, render
    View synonyms


Mid 17th century: probably from French poulenet ‘small foal’, diminutive of poulain, from late Latin pullanus, from Latin pullus ‘young animal’.