Definition of hen
1a : a female chicken especially over a year old; broadly : a female birdb : the female of various mostly aquatic animals (such as lobsters or fish)
2 : woman; especially : a fussy middle-aged woman
Recent Examples of hen from the Web
Guess the officers should have done a better job of guarding the hen house, err, make that SUV.
Wahl, also a Carbonell winner with great range, makes Tracy a sort of mother hen, cheerleader and trusted guide into Casey’s strange new world.
White bread also swaddles the hen-of-the-woods mushroom sandwich, a vegetarian number with impressive brawn.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hen'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of hen
Middle English, from Old English henn; akin to Old English hana rooster — more at chant
First Known Use: before 12th century
HEN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of hen for English Language Learners
: an adult female chicken
: a female bird of any kind
HEN Defined for Kids
Definition of hen for Students
1 : a female domestic fowl
2 : a female bird
Seen and Heard
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