Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[hen-pekt] /ˈhɛnˌpɛkt/
browbeaten, bullied, or intimidated by one's wife, girlfriend, etc.:
a henpecked husband who never dared to contradict his wife.
Origin of henpecked
First recorded in 1670-80; hen + peck2 + -ed2
Related forms
henpecking, noun


[hen-pek] /ˈhɛnˌpɛk/
verb (used with object)
to browbeat, bully, or intimidate (one's husband, boyfriend, etc.).
Related forms
henpecked, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for henpecked
Contemporary Examples
  • One danger is that women will be henpecked by men who now claim that unprotected sex is medically safe.

Historical Examples
  • These henpecked gentlemen always nominate themselves chastity's guardians.

    Moral Ludwig Thoma
  • I had heard of henpecked husbands and now I felt that I saw one.

    Anne Of Avonlea Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • Upon the honour of a henpecked husband—before daybreak to-morrow, you'll hear the music.

    The Dop Doctor Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • I had the gout, my wife was a shrew, and I was—a henpecked husband.

    Sheppard Lee, Vol. I (of 2) Robert Montgomery Bird
  • Fortunately the cock is as morose and reserved an individual as I am myself, without my sense of humour—or else he's henpecked.

    The Lightning Conductor Discovers America C. N. (Charles Norris) Williamson and A. M. (Alice Muriel) Williamson
  • I am prepared to become an awful example of a henpecked husband.

    Mount Royal, Volume 1 of 3 Mary Elizabeth Braddon
  • People said that Squire Hall was henpecked; they also said that he had married beneath him.

    The Way to Peace Margaret Deland
  • Certainly you never could have henpecked me into Congress the way you did Jim Walton!

    The Co-Citizens Corra Harris
  • Skimmington, skim′ing-ton, n. a burlesque procession intended to ridicule a henpecked husband: a riot generally.

British Dictionary definitions for henpecked


(of a man) continually harassed or tormented by the persistent nagging of a woman (esp his wife)


(transitive) (of a woman) to harass or torment (a man, esp her husband) by persistent nagging
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for henpecked

1670s, an image from hen + peck (v.).

The henpect Man rides behind his Wife, and lets her wear the Spurs and govern the Reins. [Samuel Butler]
The verb henpeck (1680s) apparently is a back-formation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for henpecked



Dominated by women, esp by one's wife; pussy-whipped (1690+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for henpecked

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for henpecked

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for henpecked