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pen1

[pen] /pɛn/
noun
1.
any of various instruments for writing or drawing with ink or a similar substance.
2.
a detachable metal penpoint, filled by dipping or with a quill; nib.
3.
such a penpoint with its penholder.
4.
fountain pen.
5.
ball-point pen.
6.
the pen as the instrument of writing or authorship:
The pen is mightier than the sword.
7.
a person's style or quality of writing:
He writes with a witty, incisive pen.
8.
a writer:
I leave this story to abler pens.
9.
the profession of writing:
a master of the pen.
10.
Computers. stylus (def 3).
11.
Ornithology.
  1. a quill.
  2. a pinfeather.
12.
something resembling or suggesting a feather or quill.
13.
Zoology. an internal, corneous or chitinous, feather-shaped structure in certain cephalopods, as the squid.
verb (used with object), penned, penning.
14.
to write with or as with a pen; put down in writing:
to pen an essay.
15.
to draw with or as with a pen:
to pen a sketch.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English penne < Old French penne pen, feather < Late Latin penna, Latin: feather
Related forms
penlike, adjective
penner, noun

pen2

[pen] /pɛn/
noun
1.
a small enclosure for domestic animals.
2.
animals so enclosed:
We have a pen of twenty sheep.
3.
an enclosure used for confinement or safekeeping:
We have built several pens to hold our harvest of corn.
4.
5.
6.
a dock having a protective concrete structure overhead, used to service and repair submarines.
verb (used with object), penned or pent, penning.
7.
to confine in or as in a pen.
Origin
before 1000; (noun) Middle English penne, Old English penn (in compounds); perhaps akin to pin; (v.) Middle English pennen, derivative of the noun

pen3

[pen] /pɛn/
noun, Slang.
1.
penitentiary (def 1).
Origin
1880-85; Americanism; shortened form

pen4

[pen] /pɛn/
noun
1.
a female swan.
Origin
1540-50; origin uncertain

pen-

1.
variant of pene- before a vowel:
penannular.

Pen.

1.
Also, pen.

P.E.N.

1.
International Association of Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists, and Novelists.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for pen
  • One of the delights of writing in pen is that you can write continuously without having to stop to sharpen your stylus.
  • Frowning, she puts pen to paper and begins to write.
  • No bulky program, no pen and notepad, no hardcopy of my presentations.
  • These new pen pals are eager to learn about life in the students' country.
  • Sit them down, give them a piece of paper and a pen and an hour in a room and see what they come up with.
  • In our net pens, the fish only take up three per cent of the pen volume.
  • The modern day equivalent of a pen pal but with college credit.
  • Note the one on the right disguised as a fountain pen.
  • If you think all things digital are magic, there's now a digital pen gadget that might easily impress you.
  • With a pen stylus, students are able to highlight text and make annotations as they read.
British Dictionary definitions for pen

pen1

/pɛn/
noun
1.
an implement for writing or drawing using ink, formerly consisting of a sharpened and split quill, and now of a metal nib attached to a holder See also ballpoint, fountain pen
2.
the writing end of such an implement; nib
3.
style of writing
4.
the pen
  1. writing as an occupation
  2. the written word the pen is mightier than the sword
5.
the long horny internal shell of a squid
verb pens, penning, penned
6.
(transitive) to write or compose
Word Origin
Old English pinne, from Late Latin penna (quill) pen, from Latin: feather

pen2

/pɛn/
noun
1.
an enclosure in which domestic animals are kept sheep pen
2.
any place of confinement
3.
a dock for servicing submarines, esp one having a bombproof roof
verb pens, penning, penned, pent
4.
(transitive) to enclose or keep in a pen
Word Origin
Old English penn, perhaps related to pin

pen3

/pɛn/
noun
1.
(US & Canadian, informal) short for penitentiary (sense 1)

pen4

/pɛn/
noun
1.
a female swan
Word Origin
C16: of unknown origin

PEN

/pɛn/
noun acronym
1.
International Association of Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists, and Novelists

Pen.

abbreviation
1.
Peninsula
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 pen
n.

"writing implement," late 13c., from Old French pene "quill pen; feather" (12c.) and directly from Latin penna "a feather, plume," in plural "a wing," in Late Latin, "a pen for writing," from Old Latin petna, pesna, from PIE *pet-na-, suffixed form of root *pet- "to rush; to fly" (see petition (n.)).

Latin penna and pinna "a feather, plume;" in plural "a wing;" also "a pinnacle; battlement" (see pin (n.)) are treated as identical in Watkins, etc., but regarded as separate (but confused) Latin words by Tucker and others, who derive pinna from PIE *spei- "sharp point" (cf. spike (n.1)) and see the "feather/wing" sense as secondary.

In later French, this word means only "long feather of a bird," while the equivalent of English plume is used for "writing implement," the senses of the two words thus are reversed from the situation in English. Pen-and-ink (adj.) is attested from 1670s. Pen name is recorded from mid-19c.

"enclosure for animals," Old English penn, penne, "enclosure, pen, fold," of uncertain origin, perhaps related to Old English pinn "pin, peg" (see pin (n.)) on notion of a bolted gate or else "structure made of pointed stakes."

slang, "prison," 1884, shortening of penitentiary; earlier use (1845) probably is a figurative extension of pen (n.2).

v.

late 15c., from pen (n.). Related: Penned; penning.

"to enclose in a pen," c.1200, from Old English *pennian, from the source of pen (n.2). Related: Penned; penning.

pen-

Brythonic for "head;" common in place names in Cornwall and Wales (e.g. Penzance, see also Pendragon).

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

pen

noun

A prison of any sort, esp a penitentiary (1845+)

Related Terms

bullpen, hen-pen, pigpen, poison-pen letter, push a pen


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Related Abbreviations for pen

pen

penitentiary

PEN

  1. International Association of Poets, Editors, Essayists, and Novelists
  2. Peru-nuevo sol (currency)

Pen.

peninsula
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with pen
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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