There are 5 definitions of pen in English:

pen1

Syllabification: pen

noun

1An instrument for writing or drawing with ink, typically consisting of a metal nib or ball, or a nylon tip, fitted into a metal or plastic holder.
More example sentences
  • These include a cuddly toy, a ball, pens, pencils and paper, a toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • His pastel drawings feel loose, reworked and found, and his pen and pencil drawings are precise and fresh.
  • The desk was a little dusty in places and it housed a stationery holder containing three pens and a pencil, there were also several documents strewn across the desk.
Synonyms
ballpoint (pen), fountain pen, rollerball; felt tip (pen); highlighter, marker (pen)
1.1 (the pen) The occupation or practice of writing: she was forced to support herself not only by the pen, but as a secret agent
More example sentences
  • It is expected that another publication will be coming from the pen of the author in the next few months.
  • Some successful tenders have simply repeated the words of the customer's tender specification as though they had come from the pen of the researcher.
  • These advantages were defended with corresponding vehemence, and less by the pen than by action.
1.2An electronic penlike device used in conjunction with a writing surface to enter commands or data into a computer.
More example sentences
  • Next, install the 6MB Mobile Desktop that is stored on your pen storage device.
  • Users will input data using a pen like device writing on a pressure sensitive tablet.
  • Of course, the variable widths only work in conjunction with a pressure-sensitive pen and digital tablet.
2 Zoology The tapering cartilaginous internal shell of a squid.
More example sentences
  • It has no backbone, but rather a quill-like pen located beneath its mantle, or body.
  • Once inside, students cut out the squid's lungs, stomach, ink sac, and pen.

verb (pens, penning, penned)

[with object] Back to top  
Write or compose: he had not penned a line to Lizzie in three years
More example sentences
  • He has a penchant for writing and has penned a few hundred poems.
  • And you dare not write off people who pen moaning letters to parish newsletters or local papers as cantankerous curmudgeons.
  • But as any screenplay handbook will tell you, writing for motion pictures is not about penning lines of dialogue; it is about fashioning a narrative and constructing an event.
Synonyms
write, compose, draft, dash off; write down, jot down, set down, take down, scribble

Origin

Middle English (originally denoting a feather with a sharpened quill): from Old French penne, from Latin penna 'feather' (in late Latin 'pen').

Phrases

the pen is mightier than the sword

proverb Writing is more effective than military power or violence.
More example sentences
  • I use the pen because the pen is mightier than the sword.
  • Without putting too fine a point on it, Orwell gave life to the cliché that the pen is mightier than the sword, using mere words to fight oppression and cruelty wherever he might find it.
  • Many raised black pens to the sky, visually evoking the adage that the pen is mightier than the sword.

put (or set) pen to paper

Write or begin to write something.
More example sentences
  • I have always enjoyed putting pen to paper but was beginning to wonder if letter writing was a dying art.
  • Come on folks, put pen to paper, write to the town hall, the mayor, the leader of the council, the local paper, stand up and be counted.
  • My opinions are expressed herewith, and I feel sure many other people will see fit to put pen to paper and write to you in the same vein.

Definition of pen in:

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Word of the day antebellum
Pronunciation: ˌantɪˈbɛləm
adjective
occurring or existing before a particular war…

There are 5 definitions of pen in English:

pen2

Syllabification: pen

noun

1A small enclosure in which sheep, pigs, cattle, or other domestic animals are kept.
More example sentences
  • Along with the original small red house, the farm now has two barns, a sheep pen, and several sheds.
  • The sheep pens are on display and all strawed up, but will remain empty for two days whilst the show goes on around.
  • Then he moved on to sniff around the sheep where the lambing pen had been.
Synonyms
1.1A number of animals in or sufficient to fill a pen: a pen of young horses
More example sentences
  • Research teams were then randomly assigned to a pen of birds.
  • He was helping The Boss put a pen of cattle through the scales before they were trucked out so that they could take out the ones that didn't make the contracted weight.
  • Best price of the day went to the man from Lockton for a pen of hoggs at 121p/kilo.
1.2Any small enclosure in which someone or something can be confined.
More example sentences
  • Babies play in little pens or in safely confined areas on a blanket on the floor.
  • Today most pigs are kept in confined pens, fed a strict diet, and are slaughtered before their eighth month.
  • You may want to purchase some special items such as a dog carrier, a collar and leash, and perhaps a pen when confinement is necessary.
1.3A covered dock for a submarine or other warship.
More example sentences
  • Massive submarine pens were built near Bordeaux and the impact they had can be seen from the following figures.
  • His main aim was a breakthrough to the coast of Belgium so that German submarine pens could be destroyed.
  • The Allies could now bomb factories and submarine pens with great frequency and accuracy.

verb (pens, penning, penned)

[with object] Back to top  
1Put or keep (an animal) in a pen: it was the practice to pen the sheep for clipping
More example sentences
  • To one side along the palisade stood crofts which held penned goats, cattle, and a few sheep.
  • Now the goats weren't penned at the time but we figured with the two of us it would be no problem to grab them.
  • The animals will be penned so that people can pat them and speak to Santa before a final high street parade at 1.45 pm.
Synonyms
confine, coop (up), cage, shut in, box up/in, lock up/in, trap, imprison, incarcerate, immure
1.1 (pen someone up/in) Confine someone in a restricted space: they had been penned up day and night in the house
More example sentences
  • There, unable to avoid the blows because they were penned in by the trap, the enemy would be crushed under the maces of the battlemothers.
  • It is going to be very difficult for us and we will be penned in for periods.
  • Scotland Yard said about 200 to 300 protesters were still in the Oxford Circus area, where they had been penned in by riot police for about seven hours.

Origin

Old English penn, of unknown origin.

Definition of pen in:

There are 5 definitions of pen in English:

pen3

Syllabification: pen

noun

A female swan.
More example sentences
  • The pen, or female swan, was visible on the nest, but there was no sign of her paramour.
  • The two swans (a pen and a cob) have since brought seven baby cygnets into the world.
  • There are ducks and cranes, and every few miles a cob and pen circle as only swans can in their own territory.

Origin

mid 16th century: of unknown origin.

Definition of pen in:

There are 5 definitions of pen in English:

pen4

Syllabification: pen

noun

North American informal
short for penitentiary (sense 1).
More example sentences
  • Two years later, she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud and was sentenced to nine months in the federal pen.
  • You know, they bury guys alive out at the federal pen for stuff like that.
  • It matters, but you really want to go to the heavy federal pen if you want street credibility.

Definition of pen in:

There are 5 definitions of pen in English:

PEN5

Syllabification: PEN

abbreviation

International Association of Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists, and Novelists.

Definition of pen in: