Pen (?), n. [OE. penne, OF. penne, pene, F. penne, fr. L. penna.]


A feather.




A wing.




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.

Graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock. Job xix. 24.


Fig.: A writer, or his style; as, he has a sharp pen.

"Those learned pens."


5. Zool.

The internal shell of a squid.

6. [Etymol. uncertain.] Zool.

A female swan.

[Prov. Eng.]<-- contrast cob, the male swan -->

Bow pen. See Bow-pen. -- Dotting pen, a pen for drawing dotted lines. -- Drawing, ∨ Ruling, pen, a pen for ruling lines having a pair of blades between which the ink is contained. -- Fountain pen, Geometric pen. See under Fountain, and Geometric. -- Music pen, a pen having five points for drawing the five lines of the staff. -- Pen and ink, ∨ pen-and-ink, executed or done with a pen and ink; as, a pen and ink sketch. -- Pen feather. A pin feather. [Obs.] -- Pen name. See under Name. -- Sea pen Zool., a pennatula. [Usually written [sea-pen[.]


© Webster 1913.

Pen, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Penned (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Penning (?).]

To write; to compose and commit to paper; to indite; to compose; as, to pen a sonnet.

"A prayer elaborately penned."



© Webster 1913.

Pen, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Penned (?) or Pent (); p. pr. & vb. n. Penning.] [OE. pennen, AS. pennan in on-pennan to unfasten, prob. from the same source as pin, and orig. meaning, to fasten with a peg.See Pin, n. & 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.

"Away with her, and pen her up."


Watching where shepherds pen their flocks at eve. Milton.


© Webster 1913.

Pen, n. [From Pen to shut in.]

A small inclosure; as, a pen for sheep or for pigs.

My father stole two geese out of a pen. Shak.


© Webster 1913.