pound

A pound is a unit of measuring mass. Your giant cat, at 16 pounds, may easily outweigh your tiny dog — and whether he does or not, he's definitely the boss.

Pound is one of those words with a dizzying number of meanings. There's the unit North Americans use to measure weight, and there's also the unit of currency in the U.K. that's basically equivalent to U.S. dollars. Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon, among other countries, also have pound currencies. As a verb, pound means "to hit or make a heavy thud," the way you pound a stake in the ground or your heart pounds when you're nervous.

Primary Meanings of pound

1.
n
16 ounces avoirdupois
2.
n
the basic unit of money in Great Britain and Northern Ireland; equal to 100 pence
3.
vn
hit hard with the hand, fist, or some heavy instrument
the act of pounding (delivering repeated heavy blows)
4.
v
move heavily or clumsily
5.
nv
a public enclosure for stray or unlicensed dogs
place or shut up in a pound
Full Definitions of pound
1

n 16 ounces avoirdupois

“he got a hernia when he tried to lift 100 pounds
Synonyms:
lb
Type of:
avoirdupois unit
any of the units of the avoirdupois system of weights

n a unit of apothecary weight equal to 12 ounces troy

Type of:
force unit
a unit of measurement of physical force

n a nontechnical unit of force equal to the mass of 1 pound with an acceleration of free fall equal to 32 feet/sec/sec

Synonyms:
lbf.
Type of:
force unit
a unit of measurement of physical force
2

n the basic unit of money in Great Britain and Northern Ireland; equal to 100 pence

Synonyms:
British pound, British pound sterling, pound sterling, quid
Type of:
British monetary unit
monetary unit in Great Britain

n a symbol for a unit of currency (especially for the pound sterling in Great Britain)

Synonyms:
pound sign
Type of:
symbol
an arbitrary sign (written or printed) that has acquired a conventional significance

n the basic unit of money in Syria; equal to 100 piasters

Synonyms:
Syrian pound
Type of:
Syrian monetary unit
monetary unit in Syria

n the basic unit of money in the Sudan; equal to 100 piasters

Synonyms:
Sudanese pound
Type of:
Sudanese monetary unit
monetary unit in the Sudan

n the basic unit of money in Lebanon; equal to 100 piasters

Synonyms:
Lebanese pound
Type of:
Lebanese monetary unit
monetary unit in Lebanon

n the basic unit of money in Egypt; equal to 100 piasters

Synonyms:
Egyptian pound
Type of:
Egyptian monetary unit
monetary unit in Egypt

n the basic unit of money in Cyprus; equal to 100 cents

Synonyms:
Cypriot pound
Type of:
Cypriot monetary unit
monetary unit in Cyprus

n formerly the basic unit of money in Ireland; equal to 100 pence

Synonyms:
Irish pound, Irish punt, punt
Type of:
Irish monetary unit
monetary unit in Eire
3

v hit hard with the hand, fist, or some heavy instrument

“the salesman pounded the door knocker”
Synonyms:
poke, thump
Type of:
hit
deal a blow to, either with the hand or with an instrument

v break down and crush by beating, as with a pestle

pound the roots with a heavy flat stone”
Type of:
break up, fragment, fragmentise, fragmentize
break or cause to break into pieces

v strike or drive against with a heavy impact

pound on the door”
Synonyms:
ram, ram down
Type of:
thrust
push forcefully

n the act of pounding (delivering repeated heavy blows)

Synonyms:
hammer, hammering, pounding
Type of:
blow
a powerful stroke with the fist or a weapon
4

v move heavily or clumsily

Synonyms:
lumber
Type of:
walk
use one's feet to advance; advance by steps

v move rhythmically

Synonyms:
beat, thump
beat
indicate by beating, as with the fingers or drumsticks
Types:
show 4 types...
hide 4 types...
pulsate, pulse, throb
expand and contract rhythmically; beat rhythmically
flutter, palpitate
beat rapidly
thrash
beat so fast that (the heart's) output starts dropping until (it) does not manage to pump out blood at all
flap
move noisily
Type of:
move
move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
5

n a public enclosure for stray or unlicensed dogs

“unlicensed dogs will be taken to the pound
Synonyms:
dog pound
Type of:
enclosure
a structure consisting of an area that has been enclosed for some purpose

v place or shut up in a pound

pound the cows so they don't stray”
Synonyms:
impound
pound up
shut up or confine in any enclosure or within any bounds or limits
Type of:
confine, hold, restrain
to close within bounds, limit or hold back from movement

v shut up or confine in any enclosure or within any bounds or limits

“The prisoners are safely pounded
Synonyms:
pound up
impound
place or shut up in a pound
Type of:
confine, hold, restrain
to close within bounds, limit or hold back from movement

v partition off into compartments

“The locks pound the water of the canal”
Synonyms:
pound off
Type of:
partition, partition off
divide into parts, pieces, or sections

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.