- to become lively, cheerful, or vigorous, as after depression or sickness (usually followed by up): The patients all perked up when we played the piano for them.
- to act, or carry oneself, in a jaunty manner.
- to put oneself forward briskly or presumptuously.
- to make smart, trim, or jaunty (sometimes followed by up or out): to perk up a suit with a new white blouse.
- to raise smartly or briskly (often followed by up or out): to perk one's head up.
- perky; jaunty: a perk manner.
Origin of perk1
- to percolate: Has the coffee perked yet? The research team is perking with new ideas.
Origin of perk2
Examples from the Web for perking
He was perking up his big ears and wagging his stump of a tail in front of him.The Manxman
And yet these perking courtiers are a long time seeing that.The Hero of the People
Then she strolled over toward the Man, lifting her feet in her most aristocratic way and perking her head prettily.Tales of a Poultry Farm
Clara Dillingham Pierson
He set coffee to perking, laid strips of bacon in a skillet and arranged half a dozen eggs nearby.Double Challenge
James Arthur Kjelgaard
"Well, I for one don't like her a bit," declared Tilly, perking up the bow ends of the black sling that hung about her neck.The Sunbridge Girls at Six Star Ranch
Eleanor H. (Eleanor Hodgman) Porter
- pert; brisk; lively
- See perk up
- (intr) (of coffee) to percolate
- (tr) to percolate (coffee)
- British informal short for perquisite
Word Origin and History for perking
late 14c., "to make oneself trim or smart," perhaps from Old North French perquer "to perch" (Modern French percher; see perch (n.1)), on notion of a bird preening its plumage. Sense of "raise oneself briskly" is first attested 1520s; perk up "recover liveliness" is from 1650s. Related: Perked; perking.