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chicken

[ chik-uhn ]
/ ˈtʃɪk ən /
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noun

adjective

(of food) containing, made from, or having the flavor of chicken: chicken salad; chicken soup.
Slang.
  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.

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON “THEIR,” “THERE,” AND “THEY’RE”

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

chicken
/ (ˈtʃɪkɪn) /

noun

adjective

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

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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