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pen

1
[ pen ]
/ pɛn /
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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.
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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

Other definitions 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

Other definitions for pen (3 of 7)

pen3
[ pen ]
/ pɛn /

noun Slang.

Origin of pen

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

Other definitions for pen (4 of 7)

pen4
[ pen ]
/ pɛn /

noun
a female swan.

Origin of pen

4
First recorded in 1540–50; origin uncertain

Other definitions for pen (5 of 7)

pen-

variant of pene- before a vowel: penannular.

Other definitions for pen (6 of 7)

Pen.

or pen.


abbreviation
peninsula.

Other definitions 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

How to use pen in a sentence

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

Other 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.
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