Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An instrument for writing or drawing with ink or similar fluid, especially:
  • n. A ballpoint pen.
  • n. A fountain pen.
  • n. A pen point.
  • n. A penholder and its pen point.
  • n. A quill.
  • n. An instrument for writing regarded as a means of expression: "Tyranny has no enemy so formidable as the pen” ( William Cobbett).
  • n. A writer or an author: a hired pen.
  • n. A style of writing: wrote plays with a witty pen.
  • n. Pinions.
  • n. The chitinous internal shell of a squid.
  • transitive v. To write or compose with or as if with a pen.
  • n. A fenced enclosure for animals.
  • n. The animals kept in such an enclosure.
  • n. Any of various enclosures, such as a bullpen or playpen, used for a variety of purposes.
  • n. A repair dock for submarines.
  • transitive v. To confine in or as if in a pen. See Synonyms at enclose.
  • n. A female swan.
  • n. Informal A penitentiary; a prison.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A tool, originally made from a feather but now usually a small tubular instrument, containing ink used to write or make marks.
  • n. The internal cartilage skeleton of a squid, shaped like a pen.
  • n. A feather, especially one of the flight feathers of a bird, angel etc.
  • v. To write (an article, a book, etc.).
  • n. A female swan.
  • n. penalty
  • n. An enclosed area used to contain domesticated animals, especially sheep or cattle.
  • n. A place to confine a person; a prison cell.
  • n. The bullpen.
  • v. To enclose in a pen.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A feather.
  • n. A wing.
  • n. An instrument used for writing with ink, formerly made of a reed, or of the quill of a goose or other bird, but now also of other materials, as of steel, gold, etc. Also, originally, a stylus or other instrument for scratching or graving.
  • n. Fig.: A writer, or his style.
  • n. The internal shell of a squid.
  • n. A female swan; -- contrasted with cob, the male swan.
  • transitive v. To write; to compose and commit to paper; to indite; to compose.
  • transitive v. To shut up, as in a pen or cage; to confine in a small inclosure or narrow space; to coop up, or shut in; to inclose.
  • n. A small inclosure.
  • n. A penitentiary[6]; a prison.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To shut, inclose, or confine in or as in a pen or other narrow place; hem in; coop up; confine or restrain within very narrow limits: frequently with up.
  • n. A small inclosure, as for cows, sheep, fowls, etc.; a fold; a sty; a coop.
  • n. Any inclousure resembling a fold or pen for animals.
  • n. In the fisheries, a movable receptacle on board ship where fish are put to be iced, etc.
  • n. A small country house in the mountains of Jamaica.
  • n. A feather, especially a large feather, of the wing or tail; a quill.
  • n. A quill, as of a goose or other large bird, cut to a point and split at the nib, used for writing; now, by extension, any instrument (usually of steel, gold, or other metal) of similar form, used for writing by means of a fluid ink.
  • n. One who uses a pen; a writer; a penman.
  • n. Style or quality of writing.
  • n. 5. A pipe; a conduit.
  • n. A female swan, the male being called a cob. Yarrell, British Birds.
  • n. In Cephalopoda, an internal homogeneous corneous or chitinous structure replacing the internal shell in certain decacerous cephalopods, such as the typical squids (Loliginidæ): also called gladius and calamary: distinguished from the corresponding sepiost or cuttlebone of the cuttles. See cut under calamary.
  • To write; compose and commit to paper.
  • n. A weir or dam for penning up the water in a stream, canal, or river of any kind, to form a head.
  • n. A pen or pencil used to record the various degrees of pressure employed in writing. A metal spring, which holds the writing point of metal or graphite, plays against a rubber air-capsule contained in the penholder and connected by rubber tubing to the ordinary recording apparatus.
  • n. An abbreviation of peninsula.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. female swan
  • n. a writing implement with a point from which ink flows
  • n. a portable enclosure in which babies may be left to play
  • n. an enclosure for confining livestock
  • v. produce a literary work
  • n. a correctional institution for those convicted of major crimes

Etymologies

Middle English penne, from Old French, from Late Latin penna, from Latin, feather; see pet- in Indo-European roots.
Middle English, from Old English penn.
Origin unknown.
Short for penitentiary.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Origin uncertain. (Wiktionary)
Shortned form of penalty (Wiktionary)
From Middle English penne ("enclosure for animals"), from Old English penn ("enclosure, fold, pen") (in compounds), from Proto-Germanic *pennō, *pannijō (“pin, bolt, nail, tack”), from Proto-Indo-European *bend- (“pointed peg, nail, edge”). Akin to Old English pennian ("to close, lock, bolt") (in compounds onpennian ("to open")), Low German pennen ("to secure a door with a bolt"), Old English pinn ("peg, bolt"). More at pin. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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