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Alternative forms[edit]


hen +‎ peck


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈhɛn.pɛk/
  • (file)


henpeck (third-person singular simple present henpecks, present participle henpecking, simple past and past participle henpecked)

  1. (chiefly by a wife) To nag persistently.
    • 1848 November – 1850 December, William Makepeace Thackeray, chapter 54, in The History of Pendennis. [], volume (please specify |volume=I or II), London: Bradbury and Evans, [], published 1849–1850, →OCLC:
      He wears a beard, and he likes his women to be slaves. What man doesn’t? What man would be henpecked, I say? We will cut off all the heads in Christendom or Turkeydom rather than that.
    • 1945, Pierre Paul Ebeyer, Gems of the Vieux Carre, page 77:
      Well, one never hears a woman boast that she henpecks her husband, even though there are many, for the reason that she realizes it is wrong.

Derived terms[edit]



henpeck (plural henpecks)

  1. (rare) A man who is meekly subservient to his wife.
    • 1953, B. V. P., Chronicles of Dewan Bahadur, Yama Dharma Rao, page 44:
      One can't swear that Dewan Bahadur Yama Dharma Rao was a henpeck ; nor could be said that the practical Lady was a cockpeck.
    • 1985, James Mallahan Cain, Roy Hoopes, Michael Hinden, 60 Years of Journalism (page 40)
      The moment he allows the emphasis to swing the other way he becomes a sit-by-the-fire, a cockerel, a drone, a henpeck. A woman steps into this man's sphere at her peril.