- to look through a small opening or from a concealed location.
- to look slyly, pryingly, or furtively.
- to look curiously or playfully.
- to come partially into view; begin to appear: the first crocuses peeping through the snow-covered ground.
- to show or protrude slightly.
- a quick or furtive look or glance.
- the first appearance, as of dawn.
- an aperture for looking through.
Origin of peep1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- a short, shrill little cry or sound, as of a young bird; cheep; squeak.
- any of various small sandpipers.
- a slight sound or remark, especially in complaint: I don't want to hear a peep out of any of you!
- to utter the short, shrill little cry of a young bird, a mouse, etc.; cheep; squeak.
- to speak in a thin, weak voice.
Origin of peep2
Examples from the Web for peeping
Yoshiyuki was spying on the Peeping Toms while they were spying on the unsuspecting lovers.Furtive Photography
May 27, 2010
How strangely the Past is peeping over the shoulders of the Present!The Village Uncle (From "Twice Told Tales")
When he started up, the Godfather Break of Day was peeping at its namesake.Little Dorrit
Don't take any notice of it,' said Miss Ledrook, peeping in from the bedroom.The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby
I looked and saw the Marquis peeping from a carriage-window.The Room in the Dragon Volant
J. Sheridan LeFanu
The sun was just peeping over the serrated tops of the mountains.Slaves of Mercury
- to look furtively or secretly, as through a small aperture or from a hidden place
- to appear partially or brieflythe sun peeped through the clouds
- a quick or furtive look
- the first appearancethe peep of dawn
- (esp of young birds) to utter shrill small noises
- to speak in a thin shrill voice
- a peeping sound
- US any of various small sandpipers of the genus Calidris (or Erolia) and related genera, such as the pectoral sandpiper
Word Origin and History for peeping
"glance" (especially through a small opening), mid-15c., perhaps alteration of Middle English piken (see peek (v.)). Peeping Tom "a curious prying fellow" [Grose] is from 1796; connection with Lady Godiva story dates only from 1837.
"make a short chirp," c.1400, probably altered from pipen (mid-13c.), ultimately imitative (cf. Latin pipare, French pepier, German piepen, Lithuanian pypti, Czech pipati, Greek pipos).
1520s, first in sense found in peep of day, from peep (v.1); meaning "a furtive glance" is first recorded 1730.
"short chirp," early 15c., from peep (v.2); meaning "slightest sound or utterance" (usually in a negative context) is attested from 1903. Meaning "young chicken" is from 1680s. The marshmallow peeps confection are said to date from 1950s.
- positive end-expiratory pressure
Idioms and Phrases with peeping
see hear a peep out of.