\ 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

In a recent study, researchers Margit Tavits and Efrén O. Pérez decided to explore whether the hen option could have an impact on associations and assumptions. Fortune, "Business Beyond Profits: raceAhead," 19 Aug. 2019 Hail stones could be larger than 2 inches, or the size of a hen egg. Kirk Mitchell, The Denver Post, "Denver weather: Thunderstorms in the city, egg-sized hail possible on Eastern Plains," 16 Aug. 2019 More than a million hens, filling barns at three per square foot. Geir Moulson, chicagotribune.com, "German hen breeders can keep killing 45 million male baby chicks a year, court rules," 13 June 2019 On Wednesday, Turner's pal Blair Noel Croce posted several Instagram pics from the girl's trip to Benidorm, Spain, where Turner is celebrating her hen do. Kaitlin Reilly, refinery29.com, "Sophie Turner's Hen Night Had Wigs, McDonald's & Maisie Williams," 13 June 2019 Iowa passed a law last year requiring grocers to sell eggs from hens in battery cages. oregonlive.com, "Oregon goes ‘cage-free,’ giving state’s chickens room to move around," 13 Aug. 2019 July 19 news story The Denver Post’s excellent investigative work into corruption in state courts administration leaves one wondering who’s watching the hen house. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: The real danger; Where is the integrity in the Judicial Department?; Atheism not a belief system (8/8/19)," 8 Aug. 2019 Misperceptions abound about safely caring for chickens, hens, turkeys and ducks, but the CDC is hoping to help educate the public on simple steps that can offset the illnesses, nearly a quarter involving children. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "The biggest source of salmonella outbreaks? It's clucking in U.S. backyards," 30 July 2019 Male lobsters are called cocks; females are called hens. Margeaux Sippell, BostonGlobe.com, "Lobsters have teeth? Yes, they do," 23 Apr. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near hen







hen and chickens

Statistics for hen

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for hen

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

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More Definitions for hen



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

Comments on hen

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


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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