\ ˈhen How to pronounce hen (audio) \

Definition of hen

1a : a female chicken especially over a year old broadly : a female bird
b : the female of various mostly aquatic animals (such as lobsters or fish)
2 : woman especially : a fussy middle-aged woman

Examples of hen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Rose Acre, which has about 25 million hens, has been overrun by supermarket orders and is scrambling to reroute eggs destined for food service to retail customers. Jesse Newman, WSJ, "Coronavirus-Era Food Supply: America Has a Lot. Moving It Is Tricky.," 19 Mar. 2020 These hens eat grains but also forage for wild plants and insects. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Only cage-free eggs to be sold in Michigan under new state law," 22 Nov. 2019 Evanston in 2010 lifted its chicken ban to allow up to six hens, but no roosters. Alexia Elejalde-ruiz, chicagotribune.com, "Proposal to ban backyard roosters and restrict hens has ruffled the feathers of Chicago’s pro-chicken community," 14 Oct. 2019 This Bakersfield 16-year-old has 350 hens and sells an average of 75 to 90 dozen eggs at farmers markets every weekend. Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: This Bay Area city will keep flags at half-staff until Congress passes gun control legislation," 9 Aug. 2019 The gobblers, still in the mood for love, have fewer hens to chase and become much easier to fool with the sound of a call. Frank Sargeant, AL.com, "Still lots of time to harvest a gobbler," 18 Mar. 2018 Hip feature: Among the farm animals living on the owner’s plot of land near Cave Creek are a number of hens that have no problem producing that popular breakfast staple. Scott Craven, azcentral, "Arizona's coolest campsites: How to book an Airstream, a bubble tent or an alpaca farm," 10 Jan. 2020 Rather, the color depends on the breed of the hen, Bauche says. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, "5 Ways Eggs Supercharge Your Health Through Your Diet," 9 Jan. 2020 Mother’s Love depicts a hen protectively spreading her wings over four poults – two on each side. Colin Moore, Outdoor Life, "The 16 Most Awesome Turkey And Duck Calls You’ve Ever Seen," 19 Feb. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of hen

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for hen

Middle English, from Old English henn; akin to Old English hana rooster — more at chant

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Time Traveler for hen

Time Traveler

The first known use of hen was before the 12th century

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Statistics for hen

Last Updated

27 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hen. Accessed 28 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for hen


How to pronounce hen (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hen

: an adult female chicken
: a female bird of any kind


\ ˈhen How to pronounce hen (audio) \

Kids Definition of hen

1 : a female domestic fowl
2 : a female bird

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More from Merriam-Webster on hen

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hen

Spanish Central: Translation of hen

Nglish: Translation of hen for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hen for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hen

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