- the female of the domesticated chicken
- the female of various other birds or of certain other animals, as the lobster
- Slang a woman, esp. an older woman: somewhat dismissive or disparaging
Origin of henMiddle English from Old English henn, feminine of hana, rooster, akin to German henne (fem. of hahn) from Indo-European base an unverified form kan-, to sing, crow from source Classical Latin canere, to sing
- A female bird, especially the adult female chicken.
- The female of certain aquatic animals, such as an octopus or lobster.
- Often Offensive Slang A usually older woman, especially one who is engaged in conversation with other women.
Origin of henMiddle English from Old English; see kan- in Indo-European roots.
(comparative more hen, superlative most hen)
- (dialectal) Hence.
From Middle English henne, heonne, hinne, from earlier henene, heonenen, henen, from Old English heonan, hionan, heonane, heonone (“hence, from here, away, from how"), from Proto-Germanic *hina, *hinanÅ (“from here"), from Proto-Indo-European *á¸±e-, *á¸±ey- (“this, here"). Cognate with Dutch heen (“away"), German hin (“hence, from here"), Danish hen (“away, further, on"). See also hence.
(third-person singular simple present hens, present participle henning, simple past and past participle henned)
- (dialectal) To throw.
From hen (“hence, away"), or a variant of hench.
From Middle English, from Old English henn, hÃ¦nn (“hen, female chicken"), from Proto-Germanic *hanjÅ (“hen"), from Proto-Indo-European *kana- (“to sing"). Cognate with Dutch hen (“hen"), German Henne (“hen"), Icelandic hÃ¦na (“hen"). Related also to Old English hana (“cock, rooster").