- browbeaten, bullied, or intimidated by one’s wife, girlfriend, etc.: a henpecked husband who never dared to contradict his wife.
verb (used with object)
- to browbeat, bully, or intimidate (one’s husband, boyfriend, etc.).
- (tr) (of a woman) to harass or torment (a man, esp her husband) by persistent nagging
- (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.