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



    BrE BrE//pen//
    ; NAmE NAmE//pen//
    Animal homes, Animal farming
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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 Martin Amis see also ballpoint pen, felt-tip pen, fountain pen
  2. 2a small piece of land surrounded by a fence in which farm animals are kept a sheep pen See related entries: Animal homes, Animal farming
  3. 3(North American English, slang) = penitentiary
  4. Word Originnoun sense 1 Middle English (originally denoting a feather with a sharpened quill): from Old French penne, from Latin penna ‘feather’ (in late Latin ‘pen’). noun sense 2 Old English penn, of unknown origin.Extra examples His pen was poised, ready to sign his name. I grabbed a pen and began taking notes. Let me grab a pen. My pen’s run out. The President has yet to wield his veto pen to block a bill. This pen won’t write. pen and ink drawingsIdioms
    the pen is mightier than the sword
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    (saying) people who write books, poems, etc. have a greater effect on history and human affairs than soldiers and wars
    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 American Dictionary entry: pen