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peep show

a display of objects or pictures viewed through a small opening that is usually fitted with a magnifying lens.
a short, usually erotic or titillating film shown in a coin-operated viewing machine equipped with a projector.
Origin of peep show
First recorded in 1850-55 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for peep-show
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The sunset is better to look at, but it has no more moral meaning than a peep-show.

    A Pessimist Robert Timsol
  • You seem not a little astonished at what you have seen in that peep-show.

  • He raised his voice, and invited the people to come and see his peep-show.

    Faustus Friedrich Maximilian von Klinger
  • The world is a peep-show, and I have satisfied my expectation.

    Lost Diaries Maurice Baring
  • She liked this last "peep-show" very much, and kissed her father to show him that she did.

    Peeps Into China E. C. Phillips
  • I've enough work in this peep-show here to have me busy all night.

    Dope Sax Rohmer
  • It was the least little bit like a peep-show, and didn't seem quite real.

    Over the Rocky Mountains to Alaska Charles Warren Stoddard
  • It was more silly than a peep-show at a country fair, but it was all set in a most gorgeous and costly frame.

    The Message Alec John Dawson
  • Then there are distinguished figures that move through the observant commuter's peep-show.

    Plum Pudding

    Christopher Morley
Word Origin and History for peep-show

1851 (not typically salacious until c.1914), from peep (v.1) + show (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for peep-show

peep show

noun phrase

  1. A supposedly private view, as if through a hole in the wall, of some forbidden sexual activity (1914+)
  2. Leg Show (1940s+)

[found by 1851 as ''an exhibition of pictures viewed through a lens in a small hole'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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