chicken of the woods

noun phrase
variants: or chicken-of-the-woods

Definition of chicken of the woods

: an edible bracket fungus (Laetiporus sulphureus) of North America and Europe that forms thick, fleshy, shelflike fruiting bodies (as on tree trunks) which are usually bright orange above and sulfur yellow below Realistically, however, a 56-pound chicken of the woods is old and tough. The fungus is only appetizing when it is young and tender, but even then, it is usually big.— Nina Rao I've eaten chicken-of-the-woods, a bright orange fungus I knocked off a rotting log.— Tina Kelley

called also chicken mushroom, sulfur shelf

First Known Use of chicken of the woods

1960, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About chicken of the woods

Time Traveler for chicken of the woods

Time Traveler

The first known use of chicken of the woods was in 1960

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near chicken of the woods

chicken noodle soup

chicken of the woods

chicken out

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for chicken of the woods

Cite this Entry

“Chicken of the woods.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chicken%20of%20the%20woods. Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!