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[fenz] /fɛnz/
Also called Fenland. a marshy lowland region in E England, S of the Wash: partly drained and channeled since the 17th century.


[fen] /fɛn/
low land covered wholly or partially with water; boggy land; a marsh.
the Fens, a marshy region W and S of The Wash, in E England.
Origin of fen1
before 900; Middle English, Old English; cognate with Old Norse fen quagmire, Gothic fani mud, Dutch ven, German Fenn fen, bog


[fen] /fɛn/
noun, plural fen.
an aluminum coin and monetary unit of the People's Republic of China, the hundredth part of a yuan or the tenth part of a jiao.
First recorded in 1905-10, fen is from the Chinese word fēn Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Fens
Historical Examples
  • The shores of its creeks and Fens are tenanted by minks and muskrats.

  • Fens, like deserts, are large things very apt to be mislaid.

    Alarms and Discursions G. K. Chesterton
  • Fortune declared against him, and he retreated, like some Hereward, to the Fens.

    "Wee Tim'rous Beasties" Douglas English
  • The low hills were not yet cleared, nor the Fens and the wolds trimmed and enclosed.

    Oxford Andrew Lang
  • The whole country was now, in fact, a vast expanse of marshes and Fens.

    Hannibal Jacob Abbott
  • The sudden flowing of the sea, called in the Fens of Lincolnshire, acker.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • The Great Level of the Fens, it is said, contains 600,000 acres.

    Farm drainage Henry Flagg French
  • “I am a traveller, and put up here on my way to the Fens,” answered Jack.

    John Deane of Nottingham W.H.G. Kingston
  • He lieth under the shady trees in the covert of the reeds and Fens.

    Olla Podrida Frederick Marryat (AKA Captain Marryat)
  • The ground was damp, and fog was rising from the hollows and Fens.

    Campaigns of a Non-Combatant, George Alfred Townsend
British Dictionary definitions for Fens


plural noun
the Fens, a flat low-lying area of E England, west and south of the Wash: consisted of marshes until reclaimed in the 17th to 19th centuries


low-lying flat land that is marshy or artificially drained
Word Origin
Old English fenn; related to Old High German fenna, Old Norse fen, Gothic fani clay, Sanskrit panka mud


noun (pl) fen
a monetary unit of the People's Republic of China, worth one hundredth of a yuan
Word Origin
from Mandarin Chinese
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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Word Origin and History for Fens



Old English fenn "mud, mire, dirt; fen, marsh, moor," from Proto-Germanic *fanjam- (cf. Old Saxon feni, Old Frisian fenne, Middle Dutch venne, Dutch veen, Old High German fenna, German Fenn "marsh," Old Norse fen, Gothic fani "mud"), from PIE *pen- "swamp" (cf. Gaulish anam "water," Sanskrit pankah "bog, marsh, mud," Old Prussian pannean "swampland"). Italian and Spanish fango, Old French fanc, French fange "mud" are loan-words from Germanic. The native Latin word was limus or lutum.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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