pen

1
[ pen ]
/ pɛn /

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.

Origin of pen

1
1250–1300; Middle English penne < Old French penne pen, feather < Late Latin penna, Latin: feather

Related forms

pen·like, adjectivepen·ner, noun

Definition for pen (2 of 7)

pen

2
[ pen ]
/ pɛn /

noun


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

to confine in or as in a pen.

Origin of pen

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

Definition for pen (3 of 7)

pen

3
[ pen ]
/ pɛn /

noun Slang.


Origin of pen

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

Definition for pen (4 of 7)

pen

4
[ pen ]
/ pɛn /

noun

a female swan.

Origin of pen

4
First recorded in 1540–50; origin uncertain

Definition for pen (5 of 7)

Pen.

or pen.


Definition for pen (6 of 7)

pen-

variant of pene- before a vowel: penannular.

Definition for pen (7 of 7)

P.E.N.

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

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pen

British Dictionary definitions for pen (1 of 6)

pen

1
/ (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)

pen

2
/ (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)

pen

3
/ (pɛn) /

noun

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

British Dictionary definitions for pen (4 of 6)

pen

4
/ (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.