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From Middle English polet, pulet, from Anglo-Norman pullet, Old French poulet (young chicken); polette (young hen), from poule (hen). Doublet of poult.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈpʊlɪt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʊlɪt


pullet (plural pullets)

  1. A young hen, especially one less than a year old. [from 14th c.]
    • 1646, Thomas Browne, Pseudodoxia Epidemica, I.11:
      They died not because the Pullets would not feed: but because the Devil foresaw their death, he contrived that abstinence in them.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, Folio Society 1973, p. 588:
      The dinner-hour being arrived, Black George carried her up a pullet, the squire himself [...] attending the door.
    • 1891, Mary Noailles Murfree, In the "Stranger People's" Country, Nebraska 2005, p. 187:
      he recommended that the patient [...] should be fed with chicken broth, and suggested that as all the poultry had gone to roost, Maggie would find a fat young pullet an easy capture.
    • 1928, Siegfried Sassoon, Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man, Penguin 2013, p. 195:
      The writer complained that a fox had been the night before and killed three more of his pullets […].
  2. (slang) A spineless person; a coward.
  3. (obsolete, slang) A young girl.

Related terms[edit]



  • (young girl): 1873, John Camden Hotten, The Slang Dictionary