- a dry measure of 8 quarts; the fourth part of a bushel, equal to 537.6 cubic inches (8.81 liters).
- a container for measuring this quantity. Abbreviation: pk, pk.
- a considerable quantity: a peck of trouble.
Origin of peck1
- to strike or indent with the beak, as a bird does, or with some pointed instrument, especially with quick, repeated movements.
- to make (a hole, puncture, etc.) by such strokes; pierce.
- to take (food) bit by bit, with or as with the beak.
- to make strokes with the beak or a pointed instrument.
- a quick stroke, as in pecking.
- a hole or mark made by or as by pecking.
- a quick, almost impersonal kiss: a peck on the cheek.
- (in timber) incipient decay from fungi, occurring in isolated spots.
- pecks. Also peck·ings. Slang. food.
- peck at,
- to nibble indifferently or unenthusiastically at (food).
- to nag or carp at: Stop pecking at me, I'm doing the best I can.
Origin of peck2
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- Annie Smith,1850–1935, U.S. mountain climber.
- Gregory,1916–2003, U.S. actor.
Examples from the Web for peck
We see Peck's character change and at the same time we see the awesome size of the forces he's up against.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
Digital birds that peck you to pieces, a disabled graffiti master who works by brainwaves.Frickin’ Laser Beams Run by Eyeballs: The Next Art Revolution Is Here
July 7, 2014
The intimacy of the contrasting figures in the painting represented to Peck the love he had for his longtime wife, Veronique Peck.Gregory Peck's Fernand Leger Hits The Block
May 8, 2013
When little Shona Ritchie plucked up the courage to ask for a peck from Prince William, the future king was happy to oblige.A Kiss From a Prince? Maybe Not....
April 5, 2013
Peck keeps his dignity even as he remembers friends and family back home, now dead.Shawn Ryan’s Favorite War Movies
September 26, 2012
Repeat this till you have put in eight quarts or one peck of tomatas.Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches
It mistook me for a honeysuckle, and gave me a peck to make sure.Good Indian
B. M. Bower
This ended the operations of the firm of Peck & Masters, in 1864.Cleveland Past and Present
From Chambers's Traditions of Edinburgh we learn that the price in 1701 was half-a-crown a peck.Storyology</p>
I have found about Chillicothe a number of the varieties given by Dr. Peck.The Mushroom, Edible and Otherwise
M. E. Hard
- a unit of dry measure equal to 8 quarts or one quarter of a bushel
- a container used for measuring this quantity
- a large quantity or number
- (when intr, sometimes foll by at) to strike with the beak or with a pointed instrument
- (tr sometimes foll by out) to dig (a hole) by pecking
- (tr) (of birds) to pick up (corn, worms, etc) by pecking
- (intr often foll by at) to nibble or pick (at one's food)
- informal to kiss (a person) quickly and lightly
- (intr foll by at) to nag
- a quick light blow, esp from a bird's beak
- a mark made by such a blow
- informal a quick light kiss
- Gregory. 1916–2003, US film actor; his films include Keys of the Kingdom (1944), The Gunfighter (1950), The Big Country (1958), To Kill a Mockingbird (1963), The Omen (1976), and Other People's Money (1991)
Word Origin and History for peck
late 13c., "dry measure of one-quarter bushel," of unknown origin; perhaps connected with Old French pek, picot (13c.), also of unknown origin (Barnhart says these were borrowed from English). Chiefly of oats for horses; original sense may be "allowance" rather than a fixed measure, thus perhaps from peck (v.).
"act of pecking," 1610s, from peck (v.). It is attested earlier in thieves' slang (1560s) with a sense of "food, grub."