Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: wren
 Wren on Wikipedia


Etymology 1[edit]

Originally a nickname from Middle English wrenne (wren).

Proper noun[edit]


  1. A surname​.
  2. Sir Christopher Wren, English architect
    • 1983 Marcus Whiffen, Frederick Koeper, "American Architecture: 1607-1860"
      The Wren church did not cross the Atlantic at once.
    • 1999 Andrew Prescott et al, "The British inheritance: a treasury of historic documents"
      This engraving of a Wren design for the north elevation was made in 1702.
    • 2004 Thomas Bruce Wheeler, "London Secrets: London Guidebook for the First Time Visitor"
      Wren rebuilt this church 15 years after the Great Fire, and later renovations have not altered its 17th-century appearance.
    • 2007 Karla J. Nielson, "Interior textiles: fabrics, applications, & historical styles"
      Wren architecture and Queen Anne furniture style flourished in tandem during the reigns of George II and George III.
    • 2007 Kerry Downes, "Christopher Wren"
      The philanthropic concerns underlying Chelsea turned to the navy, and Wren was among those who in 1693 discussed a permanent institution on this site.
    • 2008 Mark Child, "Discovering Churches and Churchyards"
      This is not to say that a hallmark Wren steeple was universally applied.
  3. (rare) A male or female given name from the noun wren.
    • 2000 Rebecca Wade, A Wanted Woman, Avon Books, →ISBN, page 53:
      "What's ironic," Alexandra said, "is that Mother named her Wren because as a newborn she reminded Mother of a shy bird. Little did she know."

Etymology 2[edit]

From the similarity to WRNS, influenced by wrens (birds).


Wren (plural Wrens)

  1. (Britain, informal) A female member of the Royal Navy (a member of the WRNS)
    • 2007 Jonathan R. Rayner, "The naval war film: genre, history, national cinema"
      The characterisation of male officers as ineffectual chauvinists, and the offering of the Wrens as objects for Charlie's and the viewer's gaze, are mutually contradictory as well as uncomplimentary to all branches of the Navy.
    • 2008 Brian Lavery, "CHURCHILL'S NAVY: THE SHIPS, MEN AND ORGANISATION, 1939-1945"
      There was plenty of work for Wrens in the training bases of the navy.
    • 2008 Mark Barber, "The British Fleet Air Arm in World War II"
      By the end of l942 Wren officers were permitted to enrol on the meteorological course at RNC Greenwich, after which they were employed as fully qualified forecasters.