UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/ˈtʃɪkɪn/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/ˈtʃɪkən/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(chikən)

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
chick•en /ˈtʃɪkən/USA pronunciation   n. 
  1. Animal Husbandry, Birds a domesticated bird developed in a number of breeds for its flesh, eggs, and feathers:[countable]A hen is a female chicken.
  2. Food[uncountable] the flesh of the chicken used as food.
  3. Slang Terms Slang. a cowardly or fearful person:[countable]Come on, don't be such a chicken.
  4. [uncountable] a contest that may result in very serious, sometimes fatal consequences if one of the participants makes an error or does not yield.

adj. [be + ~]
  1. Informal. cowardly;
    frightened:He won't do it; he's chicken.

  1. chicken out,[no object] to withdraw from or back out of a promise, esp. because of fear.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
chick•en  (chikən),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. Animal Husbandrya domestic fowl, Gallus domesticus, descended from various jungle fowl of southeastern Asia and developed in a number of breeds for its flesh, eggs, and feathers.
  2. Animal Husbandrythe young of this bird, esp. when less than a year old.
  3. Foodthe flesh of the chicken, esp. of the young bird, used as food.
  4. Informal Termsa young or inexperienced person, esp. a young girl.
  5. Slang Terms
    • a cowardly or fearful person.
    • petty details or tasks.
    • unnecessary discipline or regulations.
    • a young male homosexual, esp. one sought as a sexual partner by older men.
  6. a contest in which two cars approach each other at high speed down the center of a road, the object being to force one's opponent to veer away first.
  7. a policy or strategy of challenging an opponent to risk a clash or yield:diplomats playing chicken at the conference table.
  8. Idiomscount one's chickens before they are hatched, to rely on a benefit that is still uncertain:They were already spending in anticipation of their inheritance, counting their chickens before they were hatched.

  1. Food(of food) containing, made from, or having the flavor of chicken:chicken salad; chicken soup.
  2. Slang Terms
    • cowardly.
    • petty or trivial:a chicken regulation.
    • obsessed with petty details, regulations, etc.:He's quitting this chicken outfit to become his own boss.

  1. chicken out, [Slang.]
    • to refrain from doing something because of fear or cowardice:I chickened out when I saw how deep the water was.
    • to renege or withdraw:You can't chicken out of this business deal now.
  • bef. 950; 1605–15 for def. 5a; 1940–45 for def. 7; Middle English chiken, Old English cīcen; akin to Middle Dutch kieken (Dutch kuiken), Low German küken

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
chicken /ˈtʃɪkɪn/ n
  1. a domestic fowl bred for its flesh or eggs, esp a young one
  2. the flesh of such a bird used for food
  3. any of various similar birds, such as a prairie chicken
  4. slang a cowardly person
  5. slang a young inexperienced person
  6. informal any of various, often dangerous, games or challenges in which the object is to make one's opponent lose his nerve
  7. count one's chickens before they are hatchedto be overoptimistic in acting on expectations which are not yet fulfilled
  1. slang easily scared; cowardly; timid
Etymology: Old English ciecen; related to Old Norse kjūklingr gosling, Middle Low German küken chicken
'chicken' also found in these entries:
Synonyms: hen, cock, timid, more...
Collocations: [fried, roasted, grilled, raw, cooked] chicken, chicken [soup, salad, drumsticks, nuggets, breast, wings], won't [do it, fight] - he's chicken, more...

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