Definition of hen in English:
1A female bird, especially of a domestic fowl.
- 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.
- 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, native hen.
- 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.
1.3Scottish Used as an affectionate term of address to a girl or woman: and I really like you too, hen
More example sentences
- One creaky old man shouted in frustration, ‘I just cannae understand ya, hen!’
- If anything really exciting has happened to you in the past month, please tell me in the comments because I just cannae go on like this, hen.
- Well ah'm sorry if ah upset ye but it's too late noo, hen.
2A female lobster, crab, or salmon.
- 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.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.
Definition of hen in:
- US English dictionary