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[sent] /sɛnt/
a bronze coin of the U.S., the 100th part of a U.S. dollar: made of steel during part of 1943. Symbol: ¢.
the 100th part of the monetary units of various other nations, including Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Canada, Ethiopia, Fiji, Guyana, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Mauritius, New Zealand, the Seychelles, Sierra Leone, the Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uganda.
a monetary unit of certain European Union countries, the 100th part of a euro.
sen3 .
Origin of cent
1325-75; Middle English < Latin centēsimus hundredth (by shortening), equivalent to cent(um) 100 (see hundred) + -ēsimus ordinal suffix
Can be confused
cents, scents, sense.


variant of centi- before a vowel:


4. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for cent
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He doesn't know either that he can do more with a quarter than with a cent.

    The Quest Frederik van Eeden
  • I gits half eat by that crazy skate, an' fired without a cent fer it.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • There's fellers 'ud hand over any sense they ever collected fer the dame that's had savvee to buy a fi' cent perfume.

    The Triumph of John Kars Ridgwell Cullum
  • Yes, Martin Wade might leave her but all his property must be left behind—every cent of it.

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • The Portuguese rei is used for copper money, worth about 1/8 of a cent.

British Dictionary definitions for cent


a monetary unit of American Samoa, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Australia, Austria, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Brunei, Canada, the Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Dominica, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guam, Guyana, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Kosovo, Liberia, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, the Marshall Islands, Martinique, Mauritius, Mayotte, Micronesia, Monaco, Montenegro, Namibia, Nauru, the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Réunion, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, the Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Surinam, Swaziland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, the United States, the Vatican City, the Virgin Islands, and Zimbabwe. It is worth one hundredth of their respective standard units
an interval of pitch between two frequencies f2 and f1 equal to 3986.31 log (f2/f1); one twelve-hundredth of the interval between two frequencies having the ratio 1:2 (an octave)
Word Origin
C16: from Latin centēsimus hundredth, from centum hundred
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cent

late 14c., from Latin centum "hundred" (see hundred). Middle English meaning was "one hundred," but it shifted 17c. to "hundredth part" under influence of percent. Chosen in this sense in 1786 as a name for a U.S. currency unit by Continental Congress. The word first was suggested by Robert Morris in 1782 under a different currency plan. Before the cent, Revolutionary and colonial dollars were reckoned in ninetieths, based on the exchange rate of Pennsylvania money and Spanish coin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for cent


Related Terms

a red cent

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for cent


Latin centum (hundred)


The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with cent
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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