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[peek] /pik/
verb (used without object)
to look or glance quickly or furtively, especially through a small opening or from a concealed location; peep; peer.
a quick or furtive look or glance; peep.
Origin of peek
1325-75; Middle English piken (v.); perhaps dissimilated variant of kiken to keek
Can be confused
peak, peek, pique, piqué.
1. See peep1 . Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for peeked
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Her sweet face was all peeked and pale in the candle-light: she who had been a child was come to womanhood in a few weeks.

    Dead Men Tell No Tales E. W. Hornung
  • He peeked and pried, and was bent on penetrating the mystery.

  • I saw his evil eye as he stood on the doorstep, and I knew by the way he peeked and peered that he was after no good.

    Mrs. Tree Laura E. Richards
  • Then he peeked over into the cellar and I just pointed and couldn't speak.

    Mitch Miller Edgar Lee Masters
  • Sure enough, there was a wide crack just below the step, and when I peeked in, I could see the electric connections.

    The House of Mystery William Henry Irwin
  • I peeked around the corner and Pa and the policeman went off to get a drink.

    Peck's Bad Boy and His Pa George W. Peck
  • No one had spoken in that half-minute, and I peeked through at Elizabeth.

    The Clammer and the Submarine William John Hopkins
British Dictionary definitions for peeked


(intransitive) to glance quickly or furtively; peep
a quick or furtive glance
Word Origin
C14 pike, related to Middle Dutch kiken to peek
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 peeked



late 14c., piken "look quickly and slyly," of unknown origin. The words peek, keek, and peep all were used with more or less the same meaning 14c.-15c.; perhaps the ultimate source was Middle Dutch kieken. Related: Peeked; peeking.


"a peek, glance," 1844, from peek (v.).



"a peek, glance," 1844, from peek (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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