Other forms: chickens

A chicken is a domesticated bird that is raised on farms for meat or eggs. Many cities allow people to keep a few chickens in their yards as pets and egg layers.

You can talk about your pet chicken with its brown feathers and funny feet, but you might also use the word chicken to order dinner at a restaurant: "I'll have the chicken." When a person is described as a chicken, it means she's easily scared or a coward. The Old English cicen, "young fowl," is the source of chicken. Calling someone chicken for being frightened has been hurting feelings since the 14th century.

Definitions of chicken
  1. noun
    a domestic fowl bred for flesh or eggs; believed to have been developed from the red jungle fowl
    synonyms: Gallus gallus
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    biddy, chick
    young bird especially of domestic fowl
    cock, rooster
    adult male chicken
    castrated male chicken
    biddy, hen
    adult female chicken
    spring chicken
    a young chicken having tender meat
    Rhode Island red
    American breed of heavy-bodied brownish-red general-purpose chicken
    Dominick, Dominique
    American breed of chicken having barred grey plumage raised for meat and brown eggs
    English breed of large chickens with white skin
    a young domestic cock; not older than one year
    a hen that has just laid an egg and emits a shrill squawk
    brood hen, broody, broody hen, setting hen, sitter
    a domestic hen ready to brood
    mother hen
    a hen with chicks
    a hen that lays eggs
    young hen usually less than a year old
    type of:
    domestic fowl, fowl, poultry
    a domesticated gallinaceous bird thought to be descended from the red jungle fowl
  2. noun
    the flesh of a chicken used for food
    synonyms: poulet, volaille
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    flesh of a small young chicken not over 2 1/2 lb suitable for broiling
    flesh of a castrated male chicken
    frier, fryer, pullet
    flesh of a medium-sized young chicken suitable for frying
    flesh of a large young chicken over 3 1/2 lb suitable for roasting
    flesh of a chicken (or game bird) split down the back and grilled (usually immediately after being killed)
    flesh of an older chicken suitable for stewing
    Oven Stuffer, Oven Stuffer Roaster
    a brand name for a roasting chicken
    type of:
    flesh of chickens or turkeys or ducks or geese raised for food
  3. adjective
    easily frightened
    synonyms: chickenhearted, lily-livered, white-livered, yellow, yellow-bellied
    cowardly, fearful
    lacking courage; ignobly timid and faint-hearted
  4. noun
    a person who lacks confidence, is irresolute and wishy-washy
    synonyms: crybaby, wimp
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    type of:
    doormat, weakling, wuss
    a person who is physically weak and ineffectual
  5. noun
    a foolhardy competition; a dangerous activity that is continued until one competitor becomes afraid and stops
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    type of:
    competition, contest
    an occasion on which a winner is selected from among two or more contestants




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DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘chicken'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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