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[hen-pekt] /ˈhɛnˌpɛkt/
browbeaten, bullied, or intimidated by one's wife, girlfriend, etc.:
a henpecked husband who never dared to contradict his wife.
Origin of henpecked
1670-80; hen + peck2 + -ed2
Related forms
henpecking, noun


[hen-pek] /ˈhɛnˌpɛk/
verb (used with object)
to browbeat, bully, or intimidate (one's husband, boyfriend, etc.).
Related forms
henpecked, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for henpecked
Contemporary Examples
  • One danger is that women will be henpecked by men who now claim that unprotected sex is medically safe.

Historical Examples
  • These henpecked gentlemen always nominate themselves chastity's guardians.

    Moral Ludwig Thoma
  • I had heard of henpecked husbands and now I felt that I saw one.

    Anne Of Avonlea Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • Upon the honour of a henpecked husband—before daybreak to-morrow, you'll hear the music.

    The Dop Doctor Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • I had the gout, my wife was a shrew, and I was—a henpecked husband.

    Sheppard Lee, Vol. I (of 2) Robert Montgomery Bird
  • Fortunately the cock is as morose and reserved an individual as I am myself, without my sense of humour—or else he's henpecked.

    The Lightning Conductor Discovers America C. N. (Charles Norris) Williamson and A. M. (Alice Muriel) Williamson
  • I am prepared to become an awful example of a henpecked husband.

    Mount Royal, Volume 1 of 3 Mary Elizabeth Braddon
  • People said that Squire Hall was henpecked; they also said that he had married beneath him.

    The Way to Peace Margaret Deland
  • Certainly you never could have henpecked me into Congress the way you did Jim Walton!

    The Co-Citizens Corra Harris
  • Skimmington, skim′ing-ton, n. a burlesque procession intended to ridicule a henpecked husband: a riot generally.

British Dictionary definitions for henpecked


(of a man) continually harassed or tormented by the persistent nagging of a woman (esp his wife)


(transitive) (of a woman) to harass or torment (a man, esp her husband) by persistent nagging
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for henpecked

1670s, an image from hen + peck (v.).

The henpect Man rides behind his Wife, and lets her wear the Spurs and govern the Reins. [Samuel Butler]
The verb henpeck (1680s) apparently is a back-formation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for henpecked



Dominated by women, esp by one's wife; pussy-whipped (1690+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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