American English

Definition of pen noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1(often in compounds) an instrument made of plastic or metal used for writing with ink pen and ink a new book from the pen of John Grisham see also felt-tip pen, fountain pen
  2. 2a small piece of land surrounded by a fence in which farm animals are kept a sheep pen
  3. 3(slang) = penitentiary
  4. Idioms
    the pen is mightier than the sword (saying)
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    people who write books, poems, etc. have a greater effect on history and human affairs than soldiers and wars
    put pen to paper
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    to write or start to write something
    a slip of the pen/tongue
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    a small mistake in something that you write or say Did I call you Richard? Sorry, Robert, just a slip of the tongue.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: pen