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chicken

[ chik-uh n ]SEE DEFINITION OF chicken
  • nounperson afraid to try something
  • nounfarm fowl

Synonyms for chicken

  • coward
  • craven
  • dastard
  • funk
  • poltroon
  • quitter
  • recreant
  • scaredy cat
  • yellow belly
MOST RELEVANT
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR CHICKEN

Ben Haley meanwhile was rapidly stripping the chicken of its feathers.

The odor given off by the chicken is also an indication of freshness.

Even Tillie's chicken and waffles failed against this handicap.

She brought a plate full of rice, and a big piece of chicken.

Beef, veal, or chicken broth may be made in the same manner.

Instead of butter, the onions may be boiled in veal or chicken broth.

I know the chicken's perfect, and doesn't lack brains, and you didn't mean that she does.

I expect he's pretty worried, chicken, over that land business.

"There, chicken—the heat always turns me snappy," she repented instantly.

At the first cut of the whip, White Fang left the chicken for the man.

WORD ORIGIN

Old English cicen "young fowl," which in Middle English came to mean "young chicken," then any chicken, from West Germanic *kiukinam (cf. Middle Dutch kiekijen, Dutch kieken, Old Norse kjuklingr, Swedish kyckling, German Küken "chicken"), from root *keuk- (echoic of the bird's sound and possibly also the root of cock (n.1)) + diminutive suffixes.

Adjective sense of "cowardly" is at least as old as 14c. (cf. hen-herte "a chicken-hearted person," mid-15c.). As the name of a game of danger to test courage, it is first recorded 1953. Chicken feed "paltry sum of money" is by 1897, American English slang; literal use (it is made from the from lowest quality of grain) by 1834. Chicken lobster "young lobster," is from c.1960s, American English, apparently from chicken in its sense of "young."

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR CHICKEN

chickenhearted

adjectivecowardly
  • chicken
  • craven
  • faint-hearted
  • fearful
  • lily-livered
  • pusillanimous
  • spineless
  • timid
  • yellow
  • yellow-bellied
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.
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