English Edit

Pronunciation Edit

Etymology 1 Edit

 
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From Middle English pen, penne (enclosure for animals), from Old English penn (enclosure, fold, pen), from Proto-Germanic *pennō, *pannijō (pin, bolt, nail, tack), from Proto-Indo-European *bend- (pointed peg, nail, edge). Related to pin.

Sense “prison” originally figurative extension to “enclosure for persons” (1845), later influenced by penitentiary (prison), being analyzed as an abbreviation (1884).[1]

Noun Edit

pen (plural pens)

  1. An enclosure (enclosed area) used to contain domesticated animals, especially sheep or cattle.
    There are two steers in the third pen.
  2. (slang) Penitentiary, i.e. a state or federal prison for convicted felons.
    They caught him with a stolen horse, and he wound up in the pen again.
  3. (baseball) The bullpen.
    Two righties are up in the pen.
Derived terms Edit
Related terms Edit
Translations Edit

Etymology 2 Edit

From Middle English pennen, from Old English *pennian (to close, lock, bolt, attested in onpennian (to open)), derived from penn (see above). Akin to Low German pennen (to secure a door with a bolt).

Verb Edit

pen (third-person singular simple present pens, present participle penning, simple past and past participle penned or pent)

  1. (transitive) To enclose in a pen.
Derived terms Edit
Translations Edit

Etymology 3 Edit

 
A ballpoint pen, showing assembly.

From Middle English penne, from Anglo-Norman penne, from Old French penne, from Latin penna (feather), from Proto-Indo-European *péth₂r̥ ~ pth₂én- (feather, wing), from *peth₂- (to rush, fly) (from which petition). Proto-Indo-European base also root of *petra-, from which Ancient Greek πτερόν (pterón, wing) (whence pterodactyl), Sanskrit पत्रम् (patram, wing, feather), Old Church Slavonic перо (pero, pen), Old Norse fjǫðr, Old English feðer (Modern English feather);[1] note the /p/ → /f/ Germanic sound change.

Doublet of panne, penna, and pinna. See feather and πέτομαι (pétomai) for more.

Noun Edit

 
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pen (plural pens)

  1. A tool, originally made from a feather but now usually a small tubular instrument, containing ink used to write or make marks.
    He took notes with a pen.
  2. (figurative) A writer, or their style.
    He has a sharp pen.
    • 1655, Thomas Fuller, edited by James Nichols, The Church History of Britain, [], new edition, volumes (please specify |volume=I to III), London: [] [James Nichols] for Thomas Tegg and Son, [], published 1837, →OCLC:
      those learned pens
      The spelling has been modernized.
  3. (colloquial) Marks of ink left by a pen.
    He's unhappy because he got pen on his new shirt.
  4. A light pen.
  5. (zoology) The internal cartilage skeleton of a squid, shaped like a pen.
    • 2017, Danna Staaf, Squid Empire, ForeEdge, →ISBN, page 117:
      A pen is nothing more complex than a decalcified shell, so one mutation of the genes that controlled calcification could be all it took.
  6. (now rare, poetic, dialectal) A feather, especially one of the flight feathers of a bird, angel etc.
  7. (poetic) A wing.
    • 1667, John Milton, “(please specify the book number)”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, →OCLC:
      but feather'd soon and fledge
      They summed their pens, and soaring the air sublime
Derived terms Edit
Translations Edit

Verb Edit

pen (third-person singular simple present pens, present participle penning, simple past and past participle penned)

  1. (transitive) To write (an article, a book, etc.).
    • 2008, BioWare, Mass Effect, Redwood City: Electronic Arts, →ISBN, →OCLC, PC, scene: Nonuel:
      Prying open the crate, you discover a carefully wrapped, handwritten copy of one of Matriarch Dilinaga's treatises. It is unlikely she penned it herself, but the flowing brushwork and intricate watercolor illustrations clearly show the hand of a master scribe.
    • 2021 February 9, Christina Newland, “Is Tom Hanks part of a dying breed of genuine movie stars?”, in BBC[1]:
      His two most recent films are last year's Greyhound, a Hanks-penned World War Two thriller in which he plays a naval commander, and now News of the World, a Western set in the years immediately following the close of the US Civil War, directed by Paul Greengrass, which is premiering around the world on Netflix tomorrow.
    • 2021 December 29, Conrad Landin, “Glasgow Subway: a city institution”, in RAIL, number 947, page 45:
      It was in this era, too, that author and Scotland the Brave songwriter Cliff Hanley penned The Glasgow Underground, a tongue-in-cheek love letter to the Subway in song.
Translations Edit

Etymology 4 Edit

Origin uncertain. Compare hen.

Noun Edit

pen (plural pens)

  1. A female swan.
Synonyms Edit
Translations Edit

Etymology 5 Edit

Clipping of penalty.

Noun Edit

pen (plural pens)

  1. (soccer, slang) Penalty.

Etymology 6 Edit

By incorrect analogy with manmen.

Noun Edit

pen (uncountable)

  1. (humorous) plural of pan

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “pen”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.

Anagrams Edit

Angloromani Edit

Alternative forms Edit

Etymology Edit

Inherited from Romani phen.

Pronunciation Edit

  • IPA(key): [ˈpʰen], [ˈpen], [pʰɛn]

Noun Edit

pen

  1. sister
    Synonyms: minnipen, rakla
    Sa see pal te pen?(please add an English translation of this usage example)

Derived terms Edit

References Edit

  • pen”, in Angloromani Dictionary, The Manchester Romani Project, 2004-2006, page 132

Cumbric Edit

Etymology Edit

From Proto-Brythonic *penn, from Proto-Celtic *kʷennom, of uncertain derivation.

Noun Edit

pen

  1. head
  2. top, summit

References Edit

  • Attested in Cumbric toponymic compounds and phrasal names (Pen-y-Ghent)

Danish Edit

Etymology 1 Edit

From late Old Norse penni, from Latin penna (feather).

Pronunciation Edit

  • IPA(key): /pɛnˀ/, [pʰɛnˀ]

Noun Edit

pen c (singular definite pennen, plural indefinite penne)

  1. pen
  2. quill
  3. pane, peen
Declension Edit

Etymology 2 Edit

Adjective Edit

pen (neuter pent, plural and definite singular attributive pene, comparative penere, superlative (predicative) penest, superlative (attributive) peneste)

  1. Obsolete spelling of pæn

Dutch Edit

Etymology Edit

From Middle Dutch penne, ultimately from Latin penna. This etymology is incomplete. You can help Wiktionary by elaborating on the origins of this term.

Pronunciation Edit

Noun Edit

pen f (plural pennen, diminutive pennetje n)

  1. a long feather of a bird
  2. pen (writing utensil)
  3. pin
    Synonym: pin

Derived terms Edit

Descendants Edit

  • Afrikaans: pen
  • Negerhollands: pen
  • Caribbean Hindustani: pen
  • Caribbean Javanese: pèn
  • Indonesian: pen
  • Papiamentu: pèn, pen, pènchi, pennetsje (from the diminutive)
  • Sranan Tongo: pen
    • Saramaccan: peni

Anagrams Edit

Haitian Creole Edit

 
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Etymology Edit

From French pain (bread).

Pronunciation Edit

Noun Edit

pen

  1. bread

Indonesian Edit

Pronunciation Edit

  • IPA(key): [ˈpɛn]
  • Hyphenation: pèn

Etymology 1 Edit

From Dutch pen, from Latin penna (feather, pen). Doublet of pena.

Noun Edit

pèn (first-person possessive penku, second-person possessive penmu, third-person possessive pennya)

  1. (nonstandard) alternative form of pena (pen).
  2. (medicine) pin, metal used to fasten or as a bearing.

Etymology 2 Edit

Verb Edit

pen

  1. (slang) syncopic form of pengen

Further reading Edit

Japanese Edit

Romanization Edit

pen

  1. Rōmaji transcription of ペン

Mandarin Edit

Romanization Edit

pen

  1. Nonstandard spelling of pēn.
  2. Nonstandard spelling of pén.
  3. Nonstandard spelling of pěn.
  4. Nonstandard spelling of pèn.

Usage notes Edit

  • Transcriptions of Mandarin into the Latin script often do not distinguish between the critical tonal differences employed in the Mandarin language, using words such as this one without indication of tone.

Mapudungun Edit

Verb Edit

pen (Raguileo spelling)

  1. to see
    Synonym: petun

Middle English Edit

Etymology 1 Edit

From Anglo-Norman penne.

Noun Edit

pen

  1. Alternative form of penne

Etymology 2 Edit

From Old English penn, from Proto-Germanic *pennō, perhaps from the root of pinn (peg, pin).

Alternative forms Edit

Pronunciation Edit

Noun Edit

pen

  1. A enclosed structure for securing animals.
Related terms Edit
Descendants Edit
References Edit

Mindiri Edit

Noun Edit

pen

  1. woman

Further reading Edit

  • Malcolm Ross, Proto Oceanic and the Austronesian Languages of Western Melanesia, Pacific Linguistics, series C-98 (1988)

Norwegian Bokmål Edit

Etymology Edit

Possibly from French.

Adjective Edit

pen (neuter singular pent, definite singular and plural pene, comparative penere, indefinite superlative penest, definite superlative peneste)

  1. nice
    pent værnice weather
  2. neat
  3. beautiful, pretty
  4. handsome, good-looking

References Edit

Norwegian Nynorsk Edit

Etymology Edit

Possibly from French.

Adjective Edit

pen (neuter singular pent, definite singular and plural pene, comparative penare, indefinite superlative penast, definite superlative penaste)

  1. nice
    pent vêrnice weather
  2. neat
  3. beautiful, pretty
  4. handsome, good-looking

References Edit

Old Cornish Edit

Etymology Edit

From Proto-Celtic *kʷennom.

Noun Edit

pen

  1. head

Rade Edit

Etymology Edit

Borrowed from French pince.

Noun Edit

pen

  1. pincers

Romani Edit

Pronoun Edit

pen

  1. themselves (third-person plural reflexive pronoun)

See also Edit


Tok Pisin Edit

This entry has fewer than three known examples of actual usage, the minimum considered necessary for clear attestation, and may not be reliable. Tok Pisin is subject to a special exemption for languages with limited documentation. If you speak it, please consider editing this entry or adding citations. See also Help and the Community Portal.

Etymology 1 Edit

From English paint.

Noun Edit

pen

  1. paint

Etymology 2 Edit

From English pen.

Noun Edit

pen

  1. pen

Etymology 3 Edit

From English pain.

Noun Edit

pen

  1. pain
    • 1989, Buk Baibel long Tok Pisin, Port Moresby: Bible Society of Papua New Guinea, Jenesis 3:16:
      Na God i tokim meri olsem, “Bai mi givim yu bikpela hevi long taim yu gat bel. Na bai yu gat bikpela pen long taim yu karim pikinini. Tasol bai yu gat bikpela laik yet long man bilong yu, na bai em i bosim yu.”
      →New International Version translation

Volapük Edit

Noun Edit

pen (nominative plural pens)

  1. pen

Declension Edit

Welsh Edit

Etymology Edit

From Middle Welsh and Old Welsh penn, from Proto-Brythonic *penn, from Proto-Celtic *kʷennom.

Pronunciation Edit

Noun Edit

pen m (plural pennau)

  1. (anatomy) head
  2. chief
  3. top, apex
  4. end, extremity

Related terms Edit

Adjective Edit

pen (feminine singular pen, plural pen, equative penned, comparative pennach, superlative pennaf)

  1. head
  2. chief
  3. supreme, principal

Mutation Edit

Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
pen ben mhen phen
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

References Edit

  • R. J. Thomas, G. A. Bevan, P. J. Donovan, A. Hawke et al., editors (1950–present), “pen”, in Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru Online (in Welsh), University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies