a. A common domesticated fowl (Gallus domesticus) widely raised for meat and eggs and believed to be descended from the jungle fowl G. gallus.
b. Any of various similar or related birds.
c. The flesh of the chicken, used as food.
2. Slang A coward.
3. Any of various foolhardy competitions in which the participants persist in a dangerous course of action until one loses nerve and stops.
4. Vulgar Slang A young gay male, especially as sought by an older man.
intr.v. chick·ened, chick·en·ing, chick·ens
To act in a cowardly manner; lose one's nerve: chickened out at the last moment.
[Middle English chiken, from Old English cīcen.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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