Pronunciation: (chik'un), [key]
1. a domestic fowl, Gallus domesticus, descended from various jungle fowl of southeastern Asia and developed in a number of breeds for its flesh, eggs, and feathers.
2. the young of this bird, esp. when less than a year old.
3. the flesh of the chicken, esp. of the young bird, used as food.
4. Informal.a young or inexperienced person, esp. a young girl.
a. a cowardly or fearful person.
b. petty details or tasks.
c. unnecessary discipline or regulations.
d. a young male homosexual, esp. one sought as a sexual partner by older men.
6. a contest in which two cars approach each other at high speed down the center of a road, the object being to force one's opponent to veer away first.
7. a policy or strategy of challenging an opponent to risk a clash or yield: diplomats playing chicken at the conference table.
8. count one's chickens before they are hatched, to rely on a benefit that is still uncertain: They were already spending in anticipation of their inheritance, counting their chickens before they were hatched.
1. (of food) containing, made from, or having the flavor of chicken: chicken salad; chicken soup.
b. petty or trivial: a chicken regulation.
c. obsessed with petty details, regulations, etc.: He's quitting this chicken outfit to become his own boss.
chicken out, Slang.
a. to refrain from doing something because of fear or cowardice: I chickened out when I saw how deep the water was.
b. to renege or withdraw: You can't chicken out of this business deal now.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.