hen

[ hen ]
/ hɛn /

noun

the female of the domestic fowl.
the female of any bird, especially of a gallinaceous bird.
Informal. an unpleasant, usually older woman, especially one considered to be a busybody or gossip.

Origin of hen

before 1000; Middle English; Old English hen(n) (compare Old English hana cock); cognate with German Henne; akin to Latin canere to sing
Related formshen·like, adjectivehen·nish, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hen

British Dictionary definitions for hen

hen

/ (hɛn) /

noun

the female of any bird, esp the adult female of the domestic fowl
the female of certain other animals, such as the lobster
informal a woman regarded as gossipy or foolish
Scot dialect a term of address (often affectionate), used to women and girls
scarce as hen's teeth extremely rare

Word Origin for hen

Old English henn; related to Old High German henna, Old Frisian henne
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

hen


n.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with hen

hen


see mad as a hornet (wet hen); scarce as hen's teeth.

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