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[pek-ish] /ˈpɛk ɪʃ/
adjective, Chiefly British Informal.
somewhat hungry:
By noon we were feeling a bit peckish.
rather irritable:
He's always a bit peckish after his nap.
Origin of peckish
First recorded in 1775-85; peck2 + -ish1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for peckish
Historical Examples
  • If youre going up in the air, Captain, youll be peckish, the man said.

    Ruth Fielding Homeward Bound Alice B. Emerson
  • Why, of course, this is their breakfast-time, and the sight of us has made them peckish.

    The Ocean Cat's Paw George Manville Fenn
  • Well, now I'm off home, for its peckish work mowing on an empty belly, and the mother'll be looking out for me.

    Austin and His Friends Frederic H. Balfour
  • peckish is though more likely to be derived from the action of birds when eating, as all slang has its origin in metaphor.

    The Slang Dictionary John Camden Hotten
  • That's a sign that you're so peckish you could swallow anything.

  • If I felt sort of peckish they let me suck a little glass thermometer, but there is not much nourishment really in thermometers.

  • And I am as peckish as I can be, said the boy, a rapid thought flashing through his mind.

    A Very Naughty Girl L. T. Meade
  • We're not likely to be in time for table d'hte—not that I'm peckish.

  • They found that Johnson was not only peckish but curious, and thirsting for information as well as meat and drink.

    The Battery and the Boiler R.M. Ballantyne
  • "I'm peckish again," he said, climbing to the deck, and wiping the perspiration from his forehead with a piece of oily waste.

British Dictionary definitions for peckish


(informal, mainly Brit) feeling slightly hungry; having an appetite
Word Origin
C18: from peck²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for peckish

"somewhat hungry," literally "disposed to peck," 1785, from peck (v.) + -ish. Related: Peckishly; peckishness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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