• synonyms


[hen-uh n-chik-uh nz]
noun, plural hens-and-chickens.
  1. any of several succulent plants that grow in clusters or colonies formed by runners or offshoots, as those of the genera Echeveria and Sempervivum.
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Compare houseleek.

Origin of hen-and-chickens

First recorded in 1785–95
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hen-and-chickens

Historical Examples

  • Owing to their habit of producing a circle of young plants around the parent, they are commonly called "hen-and-chickens."

    The Wild Flowers of California: Their Names, Haunts, and Habits

    Mary Elizabeth Parsons

  • Each schooner has several dories, which fish all round it, thus suggesting what is often called the hen-and-chickens style.

    All Afloat

    William Wood

British Dictionary definitions for hen-and-chickens


noun plural hens-and-chickens
  1. (functioning as singular or plural) any of several plants, such as the houseleek and ground ivy, that produce many offsets or runners
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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