mother hen


Definition of mother hen

: a person who assumes an overly protective maternal attitude

Examples of mother hen in a Sentence

a football coach who fusses over his players like a mother hen
Recent Examples on the Web The Menil Collection appears in the neighborhood not as an institution but as an oversized house, a mother hen with gray chicks. Alexandra Lange, Curbed, "A museum grows in Houston," 1 Nov. 2018 Clinton is trying to play that role by being a mother hen to the fledgling activists drawn to politics by their hatred of Trump. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Trump’s confusion about Bush’s slogan illustrates his narrow view of the presidency," 9 July 2018 Deputy King’s daughter, Bailey King, talked about her mother as a single parent working long hours — a mother hen to everyone at work, including the inmates. Robert A. Cronkleton, Glenn E. Rice, Ian Cummings, Katie Bernard And Lauren Fox, kansascity, "Scenes from Wyandotte County's tribute to slain KCK deputies," 21 June 2018 Seeing the open compassion of Maeve’s Shogun World counterpart, Akane, a similarly steely mother hen, helped underline just how different Maeve’s awakening has been compared to Dolores. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Westworld: A Cut Above," 20 May 2018 In an epic redemption arc no one saw coming, the high school jock went from Nancy Wheeler's jerk boyfriend in Season 1 to a surprisingly good babysitter, big brother figure, and mother hen to the kids in in Season 2. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Stranger Things Fans Were So Thirsty for Steve This Season And It's Easy to See Why," 31 Oct. 2017 Stephen Powers, an engineer who lives in Arlington, plays mother hen to the stones, visiting each one annually to check on its condition. John Kelly, Washington Post, "The homeless and the hungry will get a boost from this year’s Helping Hand," 25 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mother 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 mother hen

1952, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for mother hen

Time Traveler

The first known use of mother hen was in 1952

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Cite this Entry

“Mother hen.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 January 2020.

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More Definitions for mother hen

mother hen


English Language Learners Definition of mother hen

: a person who worries about, cares for, or watches over other people in a way that is annoying or unwanted

More from Merriam-Webster on mother hen

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mother hen

Comments on mother hen

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to help to grow, develop, or succeed

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