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peep1

[peep]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to look through a small opening or from a concealed location.
  2. to look slyly, pryingly, or furtively.
  3. to look curiously or playfully.
  4. to come partially into view; begin to appear: the first crocuses peeping through the snow-covered ground.
verb (used with object)
  1. to show or protrude slightly.
noun
  1. a quick or furtive look or glance.
  2. the first appearance, as of dawn.
  3. an aperture for looking through.

Origin of peep1

1425–75; late Middle English pepe; assimilated variant of peek

Synonyms

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1, 2. Peep, peek, peer mean to look through, over, or around something. To peep or peek is usually to give a quick look through a narrow aperture or small opening, often furtively, slyly, or pryingly, or to look over or around something curiously or playfully: to peep over a wall; to peek into a room. Peek is often associated with children's games. To peer is to look continuously and narrowly for some time, especially in order to penetrate obscurity or to overcome some obstacle in the way of vision: The firefighter peered through the smoke.

peep2

[peep]
noun
  1. a short, shrill little cry or sound, as of a young bird; cheep; squeak.
  2. any of various small sandpipers.
  3. a slight sound or remark, especially in complaint: I don't want to hear a peep out of any of you!
verb (used without object)
  1. to utter the short, shrill little cry of a young bird, a mouse, etc.; cheep; squeak.
  2. to speak in a thin, weak voice.

Origin of peep2

1400–50; late Middle English pepen, pipen; compare Dutch, German piepen, Old French piper, Latin pipāre, Greek pippízein, Czech pípat, Lithuanian pỹpti, all ultimately of imitative orig.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for peeping

peep1

verb (intr)
  1. to look furtively or secretly, as through a small aperture or from a hidden place
  2. to appear partially or brieflythe sun peeped through the clouds
noun
  1. a quick or furtive look
  2. the first appearancethe peep of dawn

Word Origin

C15: variant of peek

peep2

verb (intr)
  1. (esp of young birds) to utter shrill small noises
  2. to speak in a thin shrill voice
noun
  1. a peeping sound
  2. US any of various small sandpipers of the genus Calidris (or Erolia) and related genera, such as the pectoral sandpiper

Word Origin

C15: of imitative origin
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

Word Origin and History for peeping

peep

v.1

"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.

peep

v.2

"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).

peep

n.1

1520s, first in sense found in peep of day, from peep (v.1); meaning "a furtive glance" is first recorded 1730.

peep

n.2

"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

peeping in Medicine

PEEP

abbr.
  1. positive end-expiratory pressure
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with peeping

peep

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.