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pen Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a writing implement with a point from which ink flows
  2. noun an enclosure for confining livestock
  3. noun a portable enclosure in which babies may be left to play
  4. noun a correctional institution for those convicted of major crimes
  5. noun female swan
  6. verb produce a literary work
    write; compose; indite.
    • She composed a poem
    • He wrote four novels

Pen noun
OE. penne, OF. penne, pene, F. penne, fr. L. penna.
  1. A feather. Obs. Spenser.
  2. A wing. Obs. Milton.
  3. An instrument used for writing with ink, formerly made of a reed, or of the quill of a goose or other bird, but now also of other materials, as of steel, gold, etc. Also, originally, a stylus or other instrument for scratching or graving.
    Graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock. Job xix. 24.
  4. Fig.: A writer, or his style; as, he has a sharp pen. "Those learned pens." Fuller.
  5. (Zoöl.) The internal shell of a squid.
  6. Etymol. uncertain. (Zoöl.) A female swan. Prov. Eng. contrast cob, the male swan
Pen transitive verb
imperfect & past participle Penned ; present participle & verbal noun Penning
  1. To write; to compose and commit to paper; to indite; to compose; as, to pen a sonnet. "A prayer elaborately penned." Milton.
Pen transitive verb
OE. pennen, AS. pennan in on-pennan to unfasten, prob. from the same source as pin, and orig. meaning, to fasten with a peg.See Pin, n. & v.
imperfect & past participle Penned or Pent (); present participle & verbal noun Penning
  1. To shut up, as in a pen or cage; to confine in a small inclosure or narrow space; to coop up, or shut in; to inclose. "Away with her, and pen her up." Shak.
    Watching where shepherds pen their flocks at eve. Milton.
Pen noun
From Pen to shut in.
  1. A small inclosure; as, a pen for sheep or for pigs.
    My father stole two geese out of a pen. Shak.

Webster 1913