1

chicken

noun chick·en \ ˈchi-kᵊn , sometimes -kᵊŋ \

Definition of chicken

1 a :the common domestic fowl (Gallus gallus) especially when young; also :its flesh used as food — compare jungle fowl
b :any of various birds or their young
2 :a young woman
3 a :coward
b :any of various contests in which the participants risk personal safety in order to see which one will give up first
4
[short for chickenshit]
slang :petty details
5 slang :a young male homosexual

Examples of chicken in a Sentence

  1. We had chicken for dinner.

  2. It's just a spider, you chicken!

  3. Don't be such a big chicken.

Recent Examples of chicken from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chicken.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of chicken

Middle English chiken, from Old English cicen young chicken; akin to Old English cocc cock

chicken Synonyms


2

chicken

adjective

Definition of chicken

1 a :scared
2 slang
a :insistent on petty details of duty or discipline

Examples of chicken in a Sentence

  1. too chicken to go through with the stunt

  2. just concentrate on the important duties of the job and forget about the chicken stuff

Recent Examples of chicken from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chicken.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of chicken

1889


3

chicken

verb

Definition of chicken

chickened; chickening play \ˈchi-kᵊn-iŋ, ˈchik-niŋ\
intransitive verb
:to lose one's nerve usually used with out
  • seemed to exhibit courage, manliness, and conviction when others chickened out
  • —J. R. Seeley

Recent Examples of chicken from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chicken.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of chicken

1943



CHICKEN Defined for English Language Learners

chicken

noun

Definition of chicken for English Language Learners

  • : a bird that is raised by people for its eggs and meat

  • : the meat of the chicken used as food

  • : a person who is afraid


chicken

adjective

Definition of chicken for English Language Learners

  • : too afraid to do something


CHICKEN Defined for Kids

1

chicken

noun chick·en \ ˈchi-kən \

Definition of chicken for Students

1 :a bird that is commonly raised by people for its eggs and meat :a hen or rooster
2 :the meat of a chicken used as food
3 :coward

2

chicken

adjective

Definition of chicken for Students

:cowardly 1
  • He's too chicken to go on the rollercoaster.


Seen and Heard

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to conform or adhere

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