- 1A female bird, especially of a domestic fowl.More example sentences
- He hid near nests of black woodpeckers, kingfishers, northern hazel hens and Eurasian sparrow hawks.
- Tragically it's beyond them to understand the instinct that will make even a domestic hen attack anyone coming between her and her chicks.
- The female red junglefowl is leaner than tame hens.
- 1.1 (hens) Domestic fowls of either sex.More example sentences
- The only things living were a sow, her piglets, and some hens scratching in the dirt.
- Shot over a five-year period, the programme reveals secret glimpses into the ordinary, everyday life of cattle, sheep, hens and wildlife on the Cotswold slopes.
- Children will also delight in the baby piglets, kittens, ducks, and hens that roam free.
- 1.2Used in names of birds, especially waterbirds of the rail family, e.g., moorhen.More example sentences
- Pan-roasted guinea hen, golden as the duck, is sparked by a sauce of tomato and lovage.
- Incubating common eider hens were caught on the nest with hand-nets on selected islands in the study area.
- 1.3A female lobster, crab, or salmon.More example sentences
- Down below me in a shallow margin I watched a ragged hen salmon, bursting with eggs, preparing to spawn with a huge cock fish that had a kype like a fist and a tail like a shovel.
- It went into the ‘fish bank’ - a cage in the river where the best hens are kept for breeding at the end of the season.
as rare (or scarce) as hen's teeth
- Extremely rare.More example sentences
- She acknowledged the existence of differences between men and women, but argued that the reason ‘women are as scarce as hen's teeth’ in academia is due to discrimination.
- In Australia (where I'm from) these units are as scarce as hen's teeth.
- Good, dedicated filing clerks are as rare as hen's teeth.
Old English henn, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hen and German Henne.
More definitions of henDefinition of hen in:
- The British & World English dictionary