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[hin-ee] /ˈhɪn i/
noun, plural hinnies.
the offspring of a male horse and a female donkey.
Compare mule1 (defs 1, 2).
Origin of hinny
1680-90; obsolete hinne (< Latin hinnus; akin to Greek gínnos mule) + -y2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hinny
Historical Examples
  • A very curious circumstance pertains to the voice of the mule and the hinny.

  • Beggars dinna work, hinny, said he—but do not be in a passion.

  • You wouldn't deprive a poor cratur of all the comfort she has in the world, would ye, hinny?

    Adle Dubois Mrs. William T. Savage
  • And oh, hinny, but your mother had been a weel-faured woman in her day!

  • The hinny of Jeanette echoed wildly from the cliffs, and was answered by the bark and howl of the prairie-wolf.

    The Boy Hunters Captain Mayne Reid
  • The hinny, on the other hand, the produce of the stallion and she ass, is essentially a modified horse.

  • And who tould the like of ye, how to make a brum like that, hinny?

    Adle Dubois Mrs. William T. Savage
  • The body and barrel, however, of the hinny are flat and narrow, in which it differs from the horse and resembles the she ass.

  • The difference between the mule and the hinny would seem to be explicable on this supposition.

    The Making of Species Douglas Dewar
  • The mule is the progeny of the male ass and the mare; the hinny that of the horse and the she ass.

British Dictionary definitions for hinny


noun (pl) -nies
the sterile hybrid offspring of a male horse and a female donkey or ass Compare mule1 (sense 1)
Word Origin
C17: from Latin hinnus, from Greek hinnos


verb -nies, -nying, -nied
a less common word for whinny


(Scot & Northern English, dialect) a term of endearment, esp for a woman or child
Word Origin
variant of honey
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 hinny

"offspring of a stallion and a she-ass," 1680s, from Latin hinnus, from Greek innos, ginnos, of unknown origin.


"to neigh," c.1400, of imitative origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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