chicken

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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    types:
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    biddy, chick
    young bird especially of domestic fowl
    cock, rooster
    adult male chicken
    capon
    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
    Orpington
    English breed of large chickens with white skin
    cockerel
    a young domestic cock; not older than one year
    cackler
    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
    layer
    a hen that lays eggs
    pullet
    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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    types:
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    broiler
    flesh of a small young chicken not over 2 1/2 lb suitable for broiling
    capon
    flesh of a castrated male chicken
    frier, fryer, pullet
    flesh of a medium-sized young chicken suitable for frying
    roaster
    flesh of a large young chicken over 3 1/2 lb suitable for roasting
    spatchcock
    flesh of a chicken (or game bird) split down the back and grilled (usually immediately after being killed)
    hen
    flesh of an older chicken suitable for stewing
    Oven Stuffer, Oven Stuffer Roaster
    a brand name for a roasting chicken
    type of:
    poultry
    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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