Definition of chicken noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈtʃɪkɪn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtʃɪkɪn//
    Meat, Farm animals, Birds
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  1. 1   [countable] a large bird that is often kept for its eggs or meat They keep chickens in the back yard. free-range chickens compare cock, hen See related entries: Farm animals, Birds
  2. 2   [uncountable] meat from a chicken fried/roast chicken chicken stock/soup chicken breasts/livers/thighs chicken and chips see also spring chicken See related entries: Meat
  3. Word OriginOld English cīcen, cȳcen, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch kieken and German Küchlein, and probably also to cock.Extra examples A few chickens were scratching around the yard. Are we just going to sit here like trussed up chickens? Battery chickens have miserable lives. Free-range chickens have happy lives. a crate of live chickens succulent pieces of chicken He called me a chicken because I wouldn’t swim in the river.Idioms
    a chicken-and-egg situation, problem, etc.
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    a situation in which it is difficult to tell which one of two things was the cause of the other
    something comes home to roost (also the chickens come home to roost)
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    used to say that if somebody says or does something bad or wrong, it will affect them badly in the future
    don’t count your chickens (before they are hatched)
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    (saying) you should not be too confident that something will be successful, because something may still go wrong
    to play a game in which people do something dangerous for as long as they can to show how brave they are. The person who stops first has lost the game. The children had been playing chicken by running across the railway line. See related entries: Children's games
    run around like a headless chicken
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    to be very busy and active trying to do something, but not very organized, with the result that you do not succeed
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: chicken