1. browbeaten, bullied, or intimidated by one’s wife, girlfriend, etc.: a henpecked husband who never dared to contradict his wife.

verb (used with object)

  1. to browbeat, bully, or intimidate (one’s husband, boyfriend, etc.).


  1. (tr) (of a woman) to harass or torment (a man, esp her husband) by persistent nagging


  1. (of a man) continually harassed or tormented by the persistent nagging of a woman (esp his wife)

1670s, an image from hen + peck (v.).

The henpect Man rides behind his Wife, and lets her wear the Spurs and govern the Reins. [Samuel Butler]

The verb henpeck (1680s) apparently is a back-formation.

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