Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Low, flat, swampy land; a bog or marsh.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A type of wetland fed by ground water and runoff, containing peat below the waterline.
  • n. A plural form of fan used by enthusiasts of science fiction, fantasy, and anime, partly from whimsy and partly to distinguish themselves from fans of sport, etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Low land overflowed, or covered wholly or partially with water, but producing sedge, coarse grasses, or other aquatic plants; boggy land; moor; marsh.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Low land covered wholly or partially with water, but producing sedge, coarse grasses, or other aquatic plants; boggy land; a bog; a marsh: as, the bogs in Ireland, or the fens in Lincolnshire, Kent, and Cambridgeshire, England.
  • n. Mud; mire.
  • n. A disease affecting hops, caused by a quick-growing moss or mold. Imp. Dict.
  • To forbid: same as fend : used in this form by boys in marbles and other games, in an exclamatory way, to check or block, according to understood rules, some move of an opposing player.
  • n. A section in the work of the Arabic physician Avicenna, called the Canon.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. low-lying wet land with grassy vegetation; usually is a transition zone between land and water
  • n. 100 fen equal 1 yuan in China

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English fenn.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English fenn, from Proto-Germanic *fanjan (cf. West Frisian fean, Dutch veen, Norwegian fen), from Proto-Indo-European *pen ‘bog, mire’ (cf. Middle Irish en ‘water’, enach ‘swamp’, Old Prussian pannean ‘peat-bog’, Sanskrit pánkas ‘marsh, mud’). (Wiktionary)
From fan, by analogy with men as the plural of man (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • "Its silvery blackness was all around them now, as if the whole world had turned into a flat Norfolk fen at dawn." From Wizard and Glass by Stephen King.

    January 22, 2011

  • "Fen" – 100 fen equal 1 yuan in China (see above definition) – ahahaha. I've only ever seen fen used as a plural form of the word fan, that's why it caught me completely by surprise. But I'm all *enlightened* now.

    July 14, 2008

  • Plath citations: see note at austere.

    March 31, 2008