[ chik-uhn ]
/ ˈtʃɪk ən /
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(of food) containing, made from, or having the flavor of chicken: chicken salad; chicken soup.
  1. cowardly.
  2. petty or trivial: a chicken regulation.
  3. obsessed with petty details, regulations, etc.: He's quitting this chicken outfit to become his own boss.

Verb Phrases

chicken out, Slang.
  1. to refrain from doing something because of fear or cowardice: I chickened out when I saw how deep the water was.
  2. to renege or withdraw: You can't chicken out of this business deal now.



Are you aware how often people swap around “their,” “there,” and “they’re”? Prove you have more than a fair grasp over these commonly confused words.
Question 1 of 7
Which one of these commonly confused words can act as an adverb or a pronoun?

Idioms for 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.

Origin of chicken

First recorded before 950; 1605–15 for def. 4a; 1940–45 for def. 6; Middle English chiken, Old English cīcen; akin to Middle Dutch kieken (Dutch kuiken ), Low German küken
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for chicken

British Dictionary definitions for chicken

/ (ˈtʃɪkɪn) /



slang easily scared; cowardly; timid

Word Origin for chicken

Old English ciecen; related to Old Norse kjūklingr gosling, Middle Low German küken chicken
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

Idioms and Phrases with chicken


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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