hen

noun \ ˈhen \
Updated on: 20 Nov 2017

Definition of hen

1 a :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

Recent Examples of hen from the Web

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



HEN Defined for English Language Learners

hen

noun

Definition of hen for English Language Learners

  • : an adult female chicken

  • : a female bird of any kind


HEN Defined for Kids

hen

noun \ ˈhen \

Definition of hen for Students

1 :a female domestic fowl
2 :a female bird


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up hen? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

ditzy

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!