Chicken Little


: one who warns of or predicts calamity especially without justification

Examples of Chicken Little in a Sentence

some called him Chicken Little, but the climatologist had the data to back up his warning on global warming
Recent Examples on the Web Among his critics, Dr. Wolfe acquired a reputation as a regulatory Chicken Little in his early campaigns against Alka-Seltzer, cough syrup, contact lenses, food additives, toothpaste and entire professions (dentistry, psychiatry). Michael S. Rosenwald, Washington Post, 1 Jan. 2024 But some Republicans dismiss these concerns as Biden administration overreach, a kind of political Chicken Little interpretation of a government shutdown. Grace Segers, The New Republic, 29 Sep. 2023 By mid-March, many businesses were closing, people were being laid off or furloughed, and Chicken Little was right: The sky was falling. Peter Sachs, Outside Online, 15 Oct. 2020 While the notion of things falling from the sky might give Chicken Little pause, falling space debris does not usually present a threat to humans. Nora McGreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 May 2020 In the most Chicken Little scenario, travel agents, tour guides, hotel concierges, and writers like myself could be out of work in five years (or less). Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, 30 Mar. 2023 The boys and girls and men and women who compete in this delightful summer beach festival are not wringing their hands because Chicken Little was right. San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 July 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Chicken Little.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


from the fable in which a chick attempts to warn other barnyard animals that the sky is falling after she is struck on the head by a chance falling object

First Known Use

1895, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Chicken Little was in 1895

Dictionary Entries Near Chicken Little

Cite this Entry

“Chicken Little.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2024.

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