chicken

[ chik-uh n ]
/ ˈtʃɪk ən /

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.

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Idioms for chicken

    count one's chickens before they are hatched, to rely on a benefit that is still uncertain: They were already spending in anticipation of their inheritance, counting their chickens before they were hatched.

Origin of chicken

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. 2020

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.