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pony express

a former system in the American West of carrying mail and express by relays of riders mounted on ponies, especially the system operating (1860–61) between St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California.
Origin of pony express
1840-50, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for pony-express
Historical Examples
  • During 1860, and until the outbreak of the Civil War, Cody lived the arduous life of a pony-express rider.

    Buffalo Bill's Spy Trailer Colonel Prentiss Ingraham
British Dictionary definitions for pony-express

pony express

(in the American West) a system of mail transport that employed relays of riders and mounts, esp that operating from Missouri to California in 1860–61
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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pony-express in Culture

Pony Express definition

A system of mail service by relays of riders on horses, established in 1860 between Missouri and California, through the Rocky Mountains. It operated for only a year and a half, until a telegraph line eliminated the need for it.

Note: An early advertisement for Pony Express riders is well known: “Wanted: Young, skinny, wiry fellows not over eighteen. Must be expert riders, willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred.”
Note: Buffalo Bill Cody and Wild Bill Hickok were Pony Express riders in their youth.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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