a domestic fowl, Gallus domesticus, descended from various jungle fowl, especially the red jungle fowl, and developed in a number of breeds for its flesh, eggs, and feathers.
the young of this bird, especially when less than a year old.
the flesh of the chicken, especially of the young bird, used as food.
a cowardly or fearful person.
a young or inexperienced person, especially a young girl.
petty details or tasks.
unnecessary discipline or regulations.
a young gay male, especially one sought as a sexual partner by older men.
a contest in which two cars approach each other at high speed down the center of a road, the object being to force one's opponent to veer away first.
a policy or strategy of challenging an opponent to risk a clash or yield: diplomats playing chicken at the conference table.
(of food) containing, made from, or having the flavor of chicken: chicken salad; chicken soup.
petty or trivial: a chicken regulation.
obsessed with petty details, regulations, etc.: He's quitting this chicken outfit to become his own boss.
chicken out, Slang.
to refrain from doing something because of fear or cowardice: I chickened out when I saw how deep the water was.
to renege or withdraw: You can't chicken out of this business deal now.
Idioms about chicken
count one's chickens before they are hatched, to rely on a benefit that is still uncertain: They were already spending wildly, in anticipation of their inheritance, counting their chickens before they were hatched.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use chicken in a sentence
Frozen 2 all but drags Elsa’s queerness into the text, though it chickens out at the last minute.
Tyga launched TYGA BITES, a “celebrity-owned virtual dining concept,” aka chicken nuggets you order through Grubhub.Travis Scott Is the First Celebrity Since Michael Jordan to Get McDonald’s Meal Named After Him | Jaya Saxena | September 4, 2020 | Eater
Swallowing eye-popping amounts of fried chicken, instant noodles and hot dogs have made these gluttons internet stars.
We tested this 20,000-BTU propane grill when we had family visiting and were able to cook enough chicken thighs and legs for six people.5 Portable Grills for All Your Outdoor Cooking Needs | Amy Marturana Winderl | September 2, 2020 | Outside Online
Sharing the boat with a pig, a donkey, and a chicken, they set sail for the Seychelles, more than a thousand miles to the west.‘Colonialism’ and crypto claims: Why the .io domain name extension faces an uncertain future | David Meyer | August 31, 2020 | Fortune
Wearing the right foot of a chicken was considered good luck.
While the chicken today might be the least exotic bird one can think of, it was once a gift that wowed kings.
The chicken, to this day, is valued for its medicinal properties.
In Rome, he writes, the chicken “predicted the outcome of battles.”
Lawler is more interested in the more fascinating story of how the chicken spread.
Squinty could look out, but the slats were as close together as those in a chicken coop, and the little pig could not get out.Squinty the Comical Pig | Richard Barnum
So Hettie put the chicken in a cage, with some wool to cover it, and fed it several times every day, till it came to know her.The Nursery, July 1873, Vol. XIV. No. 1 | Various
Lyn was no chicken-hearted weakling, to sit down and weep unavailingly in time of peril.Raw Gold | Bertrand W. Sinclair
Not so much, either; 'cause a chicken will stir round an' scratch a livin' out the ground, sooner 'n starve.Dorothy at Skyrie | Evelyn Raymond
There was no one who could make such excellent coffee or fry a chicken so golden brown as she.The Awakening and Selected Short Stories | Kate Chopin
British Dictionary definitions for chicken
a domestic fowl bred for its flesh or eggs, esp a young one
the flesh of such a bird used for food
any of various similar birds, such as a prairie chicken
slang a cowardly person
slang a young inexperienced person
slang an underage boy or girl regarded as a potential target for sexual abuse
informal any of various, often dangerous, games or challenges in which the object is to make one's opponent lose his nerve
count one's chickens before they are hatched to be overoptimistic in acting on expectations which are not yet fulfilled
like a headless chicken British informal disorganized and uncontrolled
no chicken or no spring chicken slang no longer young: she's no chicken
slang easily scared; cowardly; timid
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with chicken
In addition to the idioms beginning with chicken
- chicken feed
- chicken out
- chickens come home to roost
- chicken shit
- chicken with its head cut off
- count one's chickens
- go to bed with (the chickens)
- like a chicken with its head cut off
- no spring chicken
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.