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[fahr-th ing] /ˈfɑr ðɪŋ/
a former bronze coin of Great Britain, equal to one-fourth of a British penny: withdrawn in 1961.
something of very small value:
I don't care a farthing for your opinion.
Origin of farthing
before 950; Middle English ferthing, Old English fēorthing. See fourth, -ing3
Related forms
half-farthing, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for farthing
  • Not a farthing did it yield, but it was time exceedingly well spent.
  • Whistler won his case, although wound up losing money on legal fees after he was awarded only a farthing.
  • Any theory that leaves out part of the evidence, or has the conclusion already decided, isn't worth a bent farthing.
  • The secret is the only thing that these fine mathematical fellows have worth concealing is not worth a farthing.
  • Who has patience may get fat thrushes at a farthing apiece.
  • There can be no question that as a matter of morals it's a positive crime to give this chap a farthing.
  • farthing overcomes his gambling habit but is beaten to death by bookies anyway.
British Dictionary definitions for farthing


a former British bronze coin, worth a quarter of an old penny, that ceased to be legal tender in 1961
something of negligible value; jot
Word Origin
Old English fēorthing from fēorthafourth + -ing1
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 farthing

Old English feorðung "quarter of a penny," a diminutive derivative of feorða "fourth" (from feower "four") + -ing "fractional part." Cognate with Old Frisian fiardeng, Middle Low German verdink, Old Norse fjordhungr.

Used in biblical translation of Latin quadrans "quarter of a denarius;" the English coin (of silver until 17c., later of copper or bronze), first was minted under Edward I and abolished 1961.

I shall geat a fart of a dead man as soone As a farthyng of him. [Heywood, "Proverbs," 1562]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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farthing in the Bible

(1.) Matt. 10:29; Luke 12:6. Greek assarion, i.e., a small _as_, which was a Roman coin equal to a tenth of a denarius or drachma, nearly equal to a halfpenny of our money. (2.) Matt. 5:26; Mark 12:42 (Gr. kodrantes), the quadrant, the fourth of an _as_, equal to two lepta, mites. The lepton (mite) was the very smallest copper coin.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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