Definition of kenning in US English:

kenning

noun

  • A compound expression in Old English and Old Norse poetry with metaphorical meaning, e.g. oar-steed = ship.

    • ‘They composed and recited poems in a fairly simple verse form which relied heavily on alliteration and also the use of kennings.’
    • ‘Obviously, in poetry where this was one of the most important mechanisms, the kennings for very common nouns (such as ‘man’ or ‘woman’) are various and inventive.’

Origin

Late 19th century: from Old Norse, from kenna ‘know, perceive’; related to ken.

Pronunciation

kenning

/ˈkeniNG/