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pen 1

1. An instrument for writing or drawing with ink or similar fluid, especially:
a. A ballpoint pen.
b. A fountain pen.
c. A pen point.
d. A penholder and its pen point.
e. A quill.
a. An instrument for writing regarded as a means of expression: "Tyranny has no enemy so formidable as the pen" (William Cobbett).
b. A writer or an author: a hired pen.
c. A style of writing: wrote plays with a witty pen.
3. A pen-shaped device containing something other than ink: an insulin pen; a vaporizer pen.
4. Any of various other pen-shaped devices, such as a laser pointer.
5. The chitinous internal shell of a squid.
6. A pen shell.
7. pens Archaic The primary feathers or wings of a bird.
tr.v. penned, pen·ning, pens
To write or compose: penned a letter.

[Middle English penne, from Old French, from Late Latin penna, from Latin, feather; see pet- in Indo-European roots.]

pen′ner n.

pen 2

a. A fenced enclosure for animals.
b. The animals kept in such an enclosure.
c. Any of various enclosures, such as a bullpen or playpen, used for a variety of purposes.
2. A roofed dock for submarines.
tr.v. penned or pent (pĕnt), pen·ning, pens
To confine in or as if in a pen. See Synonyms at enclose.

[Middle English, from Old English penn.]

pen 3

A female swan.

[Origin unknown.]

pen 4

n. Informal
A penitentiary; a prison.

[Short for penitentiary.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. a person who writes or composes
2. (Agriculture) agriculture a person who pens livestock
3. obsolete a pen case
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
Jackie Penner serves as trade and customer development support manager at Post Consumer Brands.
To examine the tension between spectacles and political agency in today's hypermediated digital society, Penner uses the ideas and practices of French Marxist Debord (1931-94) and the Situationist International as a point of departure to reflect on the potential uses of new communications technology by left-wing organizations and social movements.
They held that advantage until the seventh inning, when, after Jordan Brink retired the first two batters of the inning, River City's next four batters all reached base after they had two strikes on them in their at-bats, culminating in an RBI single by Andrew Penner that forced extra innings and tied the game at 4-4.
M2 EQUITYBITES-September 20, 2018-Deasy Penner to Acquire Podley Properties to Expand Geeographic Reach
This Week: Doug Penner, Chief Operating Officer of Mercy Clinic Northwest Arkansas
Roland Penner (1924-2018) perhaps best known at Attorney-General in the NDP government of Howard Pawley from 1981 to 1987, Pawley was a learned man of diverse interests, primarily the study of law and the application of law to the furthering of human rights.
ANDRE PENNER LIVERPOOL playmaker Philippe Coutinho has declared himself "100% fit" as he prepares for his latest Wembley date.
Imagination is an EP of eight family-friendly, folk-rock songs by independent songwriter Jess Penner, who cites raising her own two children as inspiration.
A report in Indiewire stated that Larson co-founded the Women of Cinefamily support group with Tina Poppy and Alia Penner. Poppy previously left the organisation, and both Larson and Penner intend to step aside from their involvement with the group in the future.
The idea of adding virtual reality to Northern's programming came from faculty who could see the benefits to students, said Audrey Penner, vice-president of academic and student success.
Not long ago, if you would have told Leonard "Joe" Penner that one day a fellow Jewish veteran would have a VA medical center named in his honor, he would not have believed you.