Hen (?), n. [AS. henn, hen, haen; akin to D. hen, OHG. henna, G. henne, Icel. hna, Dan. hona; the fem. corresponding to AS. hana cock, D. haan, OHG. hano, G. hahn, Icel. hani, Dan. & Sw. hane. Prob. akin to L. canere to sing, and orig. meaning, a singer. Cf. Chanticleer.] Zool.
The female of the domestic fowl; also, the female of grouse, pheasants, or any kind of birds; as, the heath hen; the gray hen.
Used adjectively or in combination to indicate the female; as, hen canary, hen eagle, hen turkey, peahen.
Hen clam. Zool. (a) A clam of the Mactra, and allied genera; the sea clam or surf clam. See Surf clam. (b) A California clam of the genus Pachydesma. -- Hen driver. See Hen harrier (below). -- Hen harrier Zool., a hawk (Circus cyaneus), found in Europe and America; -- called also dove hawk, henharm, henharrow, hen driver, and usually, in America, marsh hawk. See Marsh hawk. -- Hen hawk Zool., one of several species of large hawks which capture hens; esp., the American red-tailed hawk (Buteo borealis), the red-shouldered hawk (B. lineatus), and the goshawk.
© Webster 1913.