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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for penned
  • At an early age they are deprived of the organs of reproduction, penned, and specially fatted for killing.
  • Messages penned by a schizophrenia patient cover the windows of this house.
  • But he has also penned works in literature, philosophy and fiction.
  • The field was filled with some two thousand dark-brown long-billed ducks, penned in by a white picket fence.
  • Fish are penned in nets until the boats are ready to load.
  • Aside from political screeds, the fallen dictator also penned two volumes of what he took to be literary works.
  • Yet he penned few scientific papers, and those that he did publish are mostly short notes.
  • There have been excellent books penned in the past few years on the cultural and historical contexts of marriage.
  • Steep metal slides and wooden towers have given way to slow, plastic slides and carefully penned-in climbing contraptions.
  • Some of the handwritten notations are believed to have been penned by members of the corps.
British Dictionary definitions for penned

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
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 penned

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.

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

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.
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Related Abbreviations for penned

pen

penitentiary

PEN

  1. International Association of Poets, Editors, Essayists, and Novelists
  2. Peru-nuevo sol (currency)
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 penned
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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