Chicken Definition

chĭkən
chickened, chickens
noun
chickens
A common gallinaceous farm bird (Gallus domesticus) raised for its edible eggs or flesh; hen or rooster, esp. a young one: classed in a family (Phasianidae) that includes pheasants, quail, and peafowl.
Webster's New World
Any of various similar or related birds.
American Heritage Medicine
The flesh of this bird.
Webster's New World
Any young bird; chick.
Webster's New World
A coward.
American Heritage
Synonyms:
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adjective
Made of chicken.
Chicken croquettes.
Webster's New World
Timid or cowardly.
Webster's New World
Small and tender.
A chicken lobster.
Webster's New World
Characterized by unnecessary discipline or pettiness.
Webster's New World
Wiktionary
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verb
To act in a cowardly manner; lose one's nerve.
Chickened out at the last moment.
American Heritage
To lose courage and abandon a plan or action.
Webster's New World
(intransitive) To avoid as a result of fear.
Wiktionary
(intransitive) To develop physical or other characteristics resembling a chicken's, for example, bumps on the skin.
Wiktionary
pronoun

A CDP in Alaska.

Wiktionary
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idiom
count one's chickens before they are hatched
  • to count on something that may not materialize
Webster's New World
play chicken
  • to engage in a test of courage in which, typically, two vehicles are driven directly toward one another in order to see which driver will swerve away first
  • to engage in mutual challenges or threats, hoping the opponent will withdraw before actual conflict or collision
Webster's New World

Other Word Forms of Chicken

Noun

Singular:
chicken
Plural:
chickens

Idioms, Phrasal Verbs Related to Chicken

  • count one's chickens before they are hatched
  • play chicken

Origin of Chicken

  • From Middle English, from Old English ċicen, cycen (“chicken”), diminutive of coc, cocc (“cock, rooster”), or from Proto-Germanic *kiukīną. Cognate with Dutch kuiken (“chick, chicken”), Low German küken (“chicken”), German Küken (“chick”), German dialectal Küchlein (“chicken”) and Old Norse kjúklingr (“chicken”). More at cock, -en.

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English chiken from Old English cīcen

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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