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  1. Pathology. a benign encysted tumor of the skin, especially on the scalp, containing sebaceous matter; a sebaceous cyst.
  2. British. a large, crowded city or a crowded urban district: London is the great wen of England.

Origin of wen1

before 1000; Middle English, Old English wenn; cognate with Dutch wen
Can be confusedwen when


  1. wynn.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for wen

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Wen it iss a matteh of learrn in orrter to surfife, one learrnss.

    The Highest Treason

    Randall Garrett

  • And Xavier, who had a wen under his eye, laid his finger on it.

    The Crossing

    Winston Churchill

  • Most of all Rose dreaded the question, "Wen is 'E goin' to take a little 'ouse?"

    The Creators</p>

    May Sinclair

  • I sorrow to hear that; the Wen was a capable man, and brave.

    The Prince and The Pauper, Complete

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • Wen he cum in, he picked up the paper and looked down the hed-lines.

    The Bad Boy At Home

    Walter T. Gray

British Dictionary definitions for wen


  1. pathol a sebaceous cyst, esp one occurring on the scalp
  2. a large overcrowded city (esp London in the phrase the great wen)

Word Origin

Old English wenn; related to Danish dialect van, væne, Dutch wenn


  1. a rune having the sound of Modern English w

Word Origin

Old English wen, wyn
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

Word Origin and History for wen


Old English wenn "a wen, wart," a West Germanic word (cf. Middle Low German wene, Dutch wen, dialectal German Wenne) of uncertain origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

wen in Medicine


([object Object])
  1. sebaceous cyst

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