[pen-muh n]

noun, plural pen·men.

a person who writes or copies; scribe; copyist.
an expert in penmanship.
a writer or author.

Origin of penman

First recorded in 1585–95; pen1 + -man Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for penman

Historical Examples of penman

  • Captain Penman was a man of few words, and these few he did not waste.


    S. R. Crockett

  • Captain Penman looked at the girl beside him, and was sorry for her disappointment.


    S. R. Crockett

  • In a word, he was transformed from the penman into the captain and man-at-arms.


    John Morley

  • Dickinson has aptly been called the “Penman of the Revolution.”

  • Well, I often wish I were a penman; but I never could do it.


    Benjamin Disraeli

British Dictionary definitions for penman


noun plural -men

a person skilled in handwriting
a person who writes by hand in a specified waya bad penman
an author
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 penman

1610s, "copyist, clerk, scrivener" (obsolete), from pen (n.1) + man (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper