browbeaten, bullied, or intimidated by one's wife, girlfriend, etc.: a henpecked husband who never dared to contradict his wife.

Origin of henpecked

First recorded in 1670–80; hen + peck2 + -ed2
Related formshen·peck·ing, noun



verb (used with object)

to browbeat, bully, or intimidate (one's husband, boyfriend, etc.).
Related formshen·pecked, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hen-pecked

Contemporary Examples of hen-pecked

Historical Examples of hen-pecked

British Dictionary definitions for hen-pecked



(tr) (of a woman) to harass or torment (a man, esp her husband) by persistent nagging



(of a man) continually harassed or tormented by the persistent nagging of a woman (esp his wife)
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

Word Origin and History for hen-pecked



1670s, an image from hen + peck (v.).

The henpect Man rides behind his Wife, and lets her wear the Spurs and govern the Reins. [Samuel Butler]

The verb henpeck (1680s) apparently is a back-formation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper