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Cent

Meaning

In money, one cent is one hundredth of a dollar, the basic unit of American (and other) currency. Though the U.S. coin, itself, is more commonly called a "penny," the label on the back of it reads "ONE CENT" and when we refer to the value of other coins (such as nickels, dimes, or quarters) we describe their value in cents rather than "pennies."

The cent is also one hundredth of the dollar of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago, and Singapore, and cent is also the name of the coin that represents one hundredth of the basic monetary units in South Vietnam, China, and several other countries.

What's in a word?

Cent is part of many words that have meanings related to 100 or \frac 1 {100}.

  • Other world currencies have used words containing cent to mean one hundredth of their basic unit of money: centavo (in many Central and South American countries), centime (France and French speaking countries in Africa), ...
  • A century is 100 years.
  • Twenty-five percent (sometimes spelled twenty-five per cent) is, literally, "25 per 100" or \frac{25} {100}.
  • A centimeter is one hundredth of a meter.
  • A centipede does not really have 100 legs, but the name does mean 'hundred-legger' (just as millipede means 'thousand-legger').