- any of various instruments for writing or drawing with ink or a similar substance.
- a detachable metal penpoint, filled by dipping or with a quill; nib.
- such a penpoint with its penholder.
- fountain pen.
- ball-point pen.
- the pen as the instrument of writing or authorship: The pen is mightier than the sword.
- a person's style or quality of writing: He writes with a witty, incisive pen.
- a writer: I leave this story to abler pens.
- the profession of writing: a master of the pen.
- Computers. stylus(def 3).
- a quill.
- a pinfeather.
- something resembling or suggesting a feather or quill.
- Zoology. an internal, corneous or chitinous, feather-shaped structure in certain cephalopods, as the squid.
- 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.
Origin of pen1
- a small enclosure for domestic animals.
- animals so enclosed: We have a pen of twenty sheep.
- an enclosure used for confinement or safekeeping: We have built several pens to hold our harvest of corn.
- bull pen.
- a dock having a protective concrete structure overhead, used to service and repair submarines.
- to confine in or as in a pen.
Origin of pen2
Origin of pen3
- a female swan.
Origin of pen4
- variant of pene- before a vowel: penannular.
- International Association of Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists, and Novelists.
Related Words for pencage, stick, marker, compose, penitentiary, coop, fence, wall, corral, fold, hutch, jail, prison, hedge, sty, nib, reed, quill, box, case
Examples from the Web for pen
Contemporary Examples of pen
So, I had a pen and a pencil and started scribbling and drawing, and I felt good about it.The Renegade: Robert Downey Sr. on His Classic Films, Son’s Battle with Drugs, and Bill Cosby
November 26, 2014
Knox wanted to write under a pen name at first, which the paper allowed her to do.Amanda Knox, Cub Reporter: The Convicted Murderer Is Now Writing Theater Reviews for a Small Seattle Paper
November 4, 2014
The lawyer asserted that an autopsy of Sarbandi showed how the pen knife wound was itself not fatal.
Jabbari only stabbed him with a pen knife, but did not kill him.
Yes, Trainor managed to pen a few songs for Rascal Flatts, but she was more interested in crafting pop tunes.‘All About That Bass’ Singer Meghan Trainor On Haters and Her Polarizing (and Unlikely) No. 1 Hit
October 7, 2014
Historical Examples of pen
There is a reference to “pen and ink” in the 3d Epistle of John xiii.
There was a pen the nibs of which were of ruby, set in gold, made by Doughty.
But here, run away with my pen, I suffer my mother to be angry with me on her own account.
I lay down my pen here, that you may consider of it a little, if you please.
And I cannot tell what turn my mind had taken to dictate so oddly to my pen.
- 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
- writing as an occupation
- the written wordthe pen is mightier than the sword
- the long horny internal shell of a squid
- (tr) to write or compose
Word Origin for pen
- an enclosure in which domestic animals are keptsheep pen
- any place of confinement
- a dock for servicing submarines, esp one having a bombproof roof
- (tr) to enclose or keep in a pen
Word Origin for pen
- US and Canadian informal short for penitentiary (def. 1)
- a female swan
Word Origin for pen
- International Association of Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists, and Novelists
Word Origin and History for pen
"writing implement," late 13c., from Old French pene "quill pen; feather" (12c.) and directly from Latin penna "a feather, plume," in plural "a wing," in Late Latin, "a pen for writing," from Old Latin petna, pesna, from PIE *pet-na-, suffixed form of root *pet- "to rush; to fly" (see petition (n.)).
Latin penna and pinna "a feather, plume;" in plural "a wing;" also "a pinnacle; battlement" (see pin (n.)) are treated as identical in Watkins, etc., but regarded as separate (but confused) Latin words by Tucker and others, who derive pinna from PIE *spei- "sharp point" (cf. spike (n.1)) and see the "feather/wing" sense as secondary.
In later French, this word means only "long feather of a bird," while the equivalent of English plume is used for "writing implement," the senses of the two words thus are reversed from the situation in English. Pen-and-ink (adj.) is attested from 1670s. Pen name is recorded from mid-19c.
"enclosure for animals," Old English penn, penne, "enclosure, pen, fold," of uncertain origin, perhaps related to Old English pinn "pin, peg" (see pin (n.)) on notion of a bolted gate or else "structure made of pointed stakes."
late 15c., from pen (n.). Related: Penned; penning.
"to enclose in a pen," c.1200, from Old English *pennian, from the source of pen (n.2). Related: Penned; penning.
Idioms and Phrases with pen
see slip of the lip (pen).