pound (n.1)

[fundamental unit of weight] Old English pund "pound" (in weight or money), also "pint," from Proto-Germanic *punda- "pound" as a measure of weight (source of Gothic pund, Old High German phunt, German Pfund, Middle Dutch pont, Old Frisian and Old Norse pund), an early borrowing from Latin pondo "pound," originally in libra pondo "a pound by weight," from pondo (adv.) "by weight," ablative of pondus "weight," from stem of pendere "to hang, cause to hang; weigh" (from PIE root *(s)pen- "to draw, stretch, spin"). Perhaps the notion is the weight of a thing measured by how much it stretches a cord.

Meaning "unit of money" was in Old English, originally "a (Tower) pound of silver."

In the Middle Ages it was reckoned variously: the Tower pound (12 ounces), the merchant's pound (15), the avoirdupois (16), the Troy (12); the 16-ounce pound was established before late 14c. Pound cake (1747) is so called because it has a pound, more or less, of each ingredient. Pound of flesh is from "Merchant of Venice" IV.i. The abbreviations lb., £ are from libra "pound," and reflect the medieval custom of keeping accounts in Latin (see Libra).

A peny yn seson spent wille safe a pounde. [Paston Letters, 1457]

pound (n.2)

"enclosed place for animals," especially an enclosure maintained by authorities for confining cattle or other beasts when at large or trespassing, late 14c., from a late Old English word attested in compounds (such as pundfald "penfold, pound"), related to pyndan "to dam up, enclose (water)," and thus from the same root as pond. Ultimate origin unknown. Also used as a storage place for other goods seized; as a lot for impounded motor vehicles by 1970.

pound (v.)

Middle English pounen, "pulverize (a herb or an ingredient of a medicine or perfume), grind (grain)," from Old English punian "crush by beating, pulverize, beat, bruise," from West Germanic *puno- (source also of Low German pun, Dutch puin "fragments"). With unetymological -d- from 16c. Meaning "to beat, strike, punch (someone)" is from early 14c. Sense of "beat or thrash as with the fists or a heavy instrument" is by 1790. Related: Pounded; pounding.

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Definitions of pound
pound (n.)
16 ounces avoirdupois;
he got a hernia when he tried to lift 100 pounds
Synonyms: lb
pound (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
pound (n.)
a unit of apothecary weight equal to 12 ounces troy;
pound (n.)
the basic unit of money in Syria; equal to 100 piasters;
Synonyms: Syrian pound
pound (n.)
the basic unit of money in the Sudan; equal to 100 piasters;
Synonyms: Sudanese pound
pound (n.)
the basic unit of money in Lebanon; equal to 100 piasters;
Synonyms: Lebanese pound
pound (n.)
formerly the basic unit of money in Ireland; equal to 100 pence;
Synonyms: Irish pound / Irish punt / punt
pound (n.)
the basic unit of money in Egypt; equal to 100 piasters;
Synonyms: Egyptian pound
pound (n.)
the basic unit of money in Cyprus; equal to 100 cents;
Synonyms: Cypriot pound
pound (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.
pound (n.)
a symbol for a unit of currency (especially for the pound sterling in Great Britain);
Synonyms: pound sign
pound (n.)
a public enclosure for stray or unlicensed dogs;
unlicensed dogs will be taken to the pound
Synonyms: dog pound
pound (n.)
the act of pounding (delivering repeated heavy blows);
the pounding of feet on the hallway
Synonyms: hammer / hammering / pounding
pound (v.)
hit hard with the hand, fist, or some heavy instrument;
the salesman pounded the door knocker
Synonyms: thump / poke
pound (v.)
strike or drive against with a heavy impact;
pound on the door
Synonyms: ram / ram down
pound (v.)
move heavily or clumsily;
Synonyms: lumber
pound (v.)
move rhythmically;
Synonyms: beat / thump
pound (v.)
partition off into compartments;
The locks pound the water of the canal
Synonyms: pound off
pound (v.)
shut up or confine in any enclosure or within any bounds or limits;
The prisoners are safely pounded
Synonyms: pound up
pound (v.)
place or shut up in a pound;
pound the cows so they don't stray
Synonyms: impound
pound (v.)
break down and crush by beating, as with a pestle;
pound the roots with a heavy flat stone
Pound (n.)
United States writer who lived in Europe; strongly influenced the development of modern literature (1885-1972);
Synonyms: Ezra Pound / Ezra Loomis Pound