Chicken meaning

chĭkən
The definition of chicken is a domestic bird used for meat and laying eggs, the meat that comes from such a bird, or is a slang term for someone who is fearful or cowardly.

A bird that lives in a barn and lays eggs is an example of a chicken.

A person who is afraid to dive in the pool even after every single one of his friends did is an example of someone who might be called a chicken.

noun
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2
Any of various foolhardy competitions in which the participants persist in a dangerous course of action until one loses nerve and stops.
noun
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3
Characterized by unnecessary discipline or pettiness.
adjective
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3
(countable, slang) A coward.
noun
2
1
(intransitive) To develop physical or other characteristics resembling a chicken's, for example, bumps on the skin.
verb
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A CDP in Alaska.
pronoun
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A coward.
noun
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1
A young gay male, especially as sought by an older man.
noun
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1
Afraid; cowardly.
adjective
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1
To act in a cowardly manner; lose one's nerve.

Chickened out at the last moment.

verb
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1
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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.
noun
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1
The flesh of this bird.
noun
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1
Any young bird; chick.
noun
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1
A young or inexperienced person.
noun
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1
Made of chicken.

Chicken croquettes.

adjective
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1
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Small and tender.

A chicken lobster.

adjective
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1
Timid or cowardly.
adjective
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1
To lose courage and abandon a plan or action.
verb
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1
A common domesticated fowl (Gallus domesticus) widely raised for meat and eggs and believed to be descended from the jungle fowl G. gallus.
noun
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Any of various similar or related birds.
noun
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1
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The flesh of the chicken, used as food.
noun
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(countable) A domestic fowl, Gallus gallus, especially when young.
noun
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1
(uncountable) The meat from this bird eaten as food.
noun
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1
(countable, gay slang) A young, attractive, slim man, usually having little body hair. Cf. chickenhawk.
noun
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1
(countable, slang) A young or inexperienced person.
noun
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1
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A confrontational game in which the participants move toward each other at high speed (usually in automobiles); the player who turns first to avoid colliding into the other is the loser.

Don't play chicken with a freight train; you're guaranteed to lose.

noun
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1
The game of dare.
noun
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1
adjective
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(intransitive) To avoid as a result of fear.
verb
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Petty insistence on rules.
noun
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2
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count one's chickens before they are hatched
  • To count on something that may not materialize.
idiom
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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.
idiom
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Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

count one's chickens before they are hatched
play chicken

Origin of chicken

  • Middle English chiken from Old English cīcen

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

  • 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