English

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Pronunciation

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Etymology 1

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English Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia

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

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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
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Translations
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Etymology 2

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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

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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.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book IV”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker []; [a]nd by Robert Boulter []; [a]nd Matthias Walker, [], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, →OCLC:
      Watching where shepherds pen their flocks at eve.
Derived terms
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Translations
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Etymology 3

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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

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English Wikipedia has an article on:
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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, The Church-history of Britain; [], London: [] Iohn Williams [], →OCLC:
      those learned pens
  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 page number)”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker []; [a]nd by Robert Boulter []; [a]nd Matthias Walker, [], →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
  8. A syringe-like device for injecting a dose of medication such as insulin or epinephrine. (See Injector pen.)
    • 2023 August 29, Geri Krotow, A Wasp in the Woods, Tule Publishing, →ISBN:
      "I'm sure she had more than one EpiPen [] " "But she didn't have one when she got stung or she'd have used it." By all appearances, Mariah died in the woods, [] If she managed to grab the pen found under her leg from her bag or pocket, she never discharged it. But Crystal doesn't have these details. "Doesn't it make sense that she kept an extra pen in her cupboard, and one in her bag? The extra pen fell out, is all."
  9. Short for vapor pen (electronic cigarette).
    a dab pen; a wax pen
Derived terms
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Translations
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Verb

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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.
Derived terms
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Translations
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Etymology 4

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Origin uncertain. Compare hen.

Noun

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pen (plural pens)

  1. A female swan.
Synonyms
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Translations
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Etymology 5

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Clipping of penalty.

Noun

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pen (plural pens)

  1. (soccer, slang) Penalty.

Etymology 6

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Clipping of penetration.

Noun

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pen (plural pens)

  1. (computing, informal) Penetration.
Derived terms
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Etymology 7

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By incorrect analogy with manmen.

Noun

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pen (uncountable)

  1. (humorous) plural of pan

References

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  1. 1.0 1.1 Douglas Harper (2001–2024) “pen”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.

Anagrams

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Angloromani

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Alternative forms

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Etymology

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Inherited from Romani phen.

Pronunciation

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  • IPA(key): [ˈpʰen], [ˈpen], [pʰɛn]

Noun

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pen

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

Derived terms

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References

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  • “pen”, in Angloromani Dictionary[2], The Manchester Romani Project, 2004-2006, page 132

Cumbric

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Etymology

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

Noun

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pen

  1. head
  2. top, summit

References

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

Danish

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Etymology 1

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

Pronunciation

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  • IPA(key): /pɛnˀ/, [pʰɛnˀ]

Noun

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pen c (singular definite pennen, plural indefinite penne)

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

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Adjective

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

  1. Obsolete spelling of pæn.

Dutch

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Etymology

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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

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Noun

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pen f (plural pennen, diminutive pennetje n)

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

Derived terms

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Descendants

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

Anagrams

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Haitian Creole

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Haitian Creole Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia ht

Etymology

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From French pain (bread).

Pronunciation

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Noun

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pen

  1. bread

Indonesian

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Pronunciation

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

Etymology 1

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

Noun

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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

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Verb

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pen

  1. (slang) syncopic form of pengen

Further reading

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Japanese

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Romanization

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pen

  1. Rōmaji transcription of ペン

Mandarin

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Romanization

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pen

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

Usage notes

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  • 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

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Verb

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pen (Raguileo spelling)

  1. to see
    Synonym: petun

Middle English

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Etymology 1

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From Anglo-Norman penne.

Noun

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pen

  1. Alternative form of penne

Etymology 2

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

Alternative forms

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Pronunciation

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Noun

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pen

  1. An enclosed structure for securing animals.
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Descendants
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References
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Mindiri

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Noun

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pen

  1. woman

Further reading

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

Mokilese

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Noun

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pen

  1. coconut

Norwegian Bokmål

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Etymology

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Possibly from French.

Adjective

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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

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Norwegian Nynorsk

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Etymology

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Possibly from French.

Adjective

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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

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Old Cornish

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Etymology

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From Proto-Celtic *kʷennom.

Noun

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pen

  1. head

Rade

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Etymology

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Borrowed from French pince.

Noun

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pen

  1. pincers

Romani

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Pronoun

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pen

  1. themselves (third-person plural reflexive pronoun)

See also

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Tok Pisin

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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

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From English paint.

Noun

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pen

  1. paint

Etymology 2

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From English pen.

Noun

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pen

  1. pen

Etymology 3

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From English pain.

Noun

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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

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Noun

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pen (nominative plural pens)

  1. pen

Declension

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Welsh

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Etymology

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

Pronunciation

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Noun

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pen m (plural pennau)

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

Derived terms

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Adjective

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

  1. head
  2. chief
  3. supreme, principal

Mutation

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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

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  • 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