Dictionary.com

pen

1
[ pen ]
/ pɛn /
Save This Word!

noun

verb (used with object), penned, pen·ning.

to write with or as with a pen; put down in writing: to pen an essay.
to draw with or as with a pen: to pen a sketch.

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON THE MANY TYPES OF NOUNS

They're everywhere you turn, but can you identify the 10 types of nouns easily? This quiz will test your mettle against singular, plural, concrete, abstract, common, proper, collective, compound, countable, and uncountable nouns!
Question 1 of 7
Shoelaces, rainbow, toothpaste, and haircuts are all what type of noun?

Meet Grammar Coach

Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing

Meet Grammar Coach

Improve Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of pen

1
First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English penn(e), from Old French penne “pen, feather,” from Late Latin penna “pen,” from Latin penna, pinna “feather, wing”

OTHER WORDS FROM pen

pen·like, adjectivepen·ner, noun

Definition for pen (2 of 7)

pen2
[ pen ]
/ pɛn /

noun

verb (used with object), penned or pent, pen·ning.

to confine in or as in a pen.

Origin of pen

2
First recorded before 1000; (noun) Middle English penne, Old English penn (in compounds); perhaps akin to pin; (verb) Middle English pennen, derivative of the noun

Definition for pen (3 of 7)

pen3
[ pen ]
/ pɛn /

noun Slang.

Origin of pen

3
An Americanism dating back to 1880–85; shortened form

Definition for pen (4 of 7)

pen4
[ pen ]
/ pɛn /

noun

a female swan.

Origin of pen

4
First recorded in 1540–50; origin uncertain

Definition for pen (5 of 7)

pen-

variant of pene- before a vowel: penannular.

Definition for pen (6 of 7)

Pen.

or pen.


abbreviation

peninsula.

Definition for pen (7 of 7)

P.E.N.

abbreviation

International Association of Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists, and Novelists.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for pen

British Dictionary definitions for pen (1 of 6)

pen1
/ (pɛn) /

noun

an implement for writing or drawing using ink, formerly consisting of a sharpened and split quill, and now of a metal nib attached to a holderSee also ballpoint, fountain pen
the writing end of such an implement; nib
style of writing
the pen
  1. writing as an occupation
  2. the written wordthe pen is mightier than the sword
the long horny internal shell of a squid

verb pens, penning or penned

(tr) to write or compose

Word Origin for pen

Old English pinne, from Late Latin penna (quill) pen, from Latin: feather

British Dictionary definitions for pen (2 of 6)

pen2
/ (pɛn) /

noun

an enclosure in which domestic animals are keptsheep pen
any place of confinement
a dock for servicing submarines, esp one having a bombproof roof

verb pens, penning, penned or pent

(tr) to enclose or keep in a pen

Word Origin for pen

Old English penn, perhaps related to pin

British Dictionary definitions for pen (3 of 6)

pen3
/ (pɛn) /

noun

US and Canadian informal short for penitentiary (def. 1)

British Dictionary definitions for pen (4 of 6)

pen4
/ (pɛn) /

noun

a female swan

Word Origin for pen

C16: of unknown origin

British Dictionary definitions for pen (5 of 6)

PEN
/ (pɛn) /

n acronym for

International Association of Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists, and Novelists

British Dictionary definitions for pen (6 of 6)

Pen.

abbreviation for

Peninsula
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 pen

pen

see slip of the lip (pen).

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