the penny drops

the penny drops

One finally understands, realizes, or recognizes something. Typically used in the past tense. When Liam drew the diagram, the penny dropped, and everything became clear to me.
See also: drop, penny

the penny drops

mainly BRITISH
COMMON If the penny drops, someone finally understands or realizes something. In the end the penny dropped. That was why she sent us back. It's only recently the penny's begun to drop that, actually, the new job is probably better than the other one. Note: This expression probably refers to slot machines (= machines for playing games), which only operate when you put in a coin.
See also: drop, penny

the penny drops

someone finally realizes or understands something. informal, chiefly British
The image here is of the operation of a coin-operated slot machine.
See also: drop, penny

the ˌpenny ˈdrops

(informal, especially British English) suddenly understand the meaning or significance of something: She never understands jokes. It usually takes about half an hour for the penny to drop.There was a long silence on the stage, and then the penny finally dropped — it was my turn to speak.
This is a comparison with the way a machine starts after a coin is inserted.
See also: drop, penny
References in periodicals archive ?
Elsewhere, the penny drops for Chrissie and Rebecca that Robert, pictured, has seduced their father.
He may continue to burn a few fingers before the penny drops in terms of trapping.
Once the penny drops that Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford offer far more going forward than Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney, United will become even harder to contain, as will the growing swell of people in London who support them.
Emmerdale Andy sees Aaron's mobile number in Robert's phone and the penny drops about his involvement in Katie's murder.
As the penny drops that she could be pregnant she braces herself to do not one but three tests just to be sure.
SHOCK: Vanessa's As the penny drops that she could be pregnant she braces herself to do not one but three tests just to be sure, and her heart starts racing when her fears are confirmed.
Finally the penny drops and this minister agrees with us.
At the hospital, Huw hears the nurse utter the word 'baby' as she sees to Lois and the penny drops.
The penny drops during Gennie and Jamie's leaving party, after she hugs Bob for a little too long.
As a Liverpool fan who made the effort to go to the game I saw the game against Leeds as just prolonging the agony before the penny drops and Gerard Houllier is shown the door.
Sending Lee off to search for Buster, the penny drops for Lee who is suspicious.
At first, he blames Roxy for leaving the keys in the door, but then the penny drops, and Ronnie knows she's been busted.
When the penny drops as to Ross's guilt, she's understandably not so keen to stick around Emmerdale and play mummy to her little darlings.
THE penny drops as up to 70 Tory MPs prepare to sign a letter of no confidence in Cameron.
However, the penny drops that things might not be quite as Nicole thought after she's left alone with Angie.