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[pur-kee] /ˈpɜr ki/
adjective, perkier, perkiest.
jaunty; cheerful; brisk; pert.
Origin of perky
First recorded in 1850-55; perk1 + -y1
Related forms
perkily, adverb
perkiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for perky
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She was so small and perky and so absurdly able to take care of herself.

    Jill the Reckless P. G. (Pelham Grenville) Wodehouse
  • They taught the perky boy that he was not everything, and the limp boy that he might be something.

    The Longest Journey E. M. Forster
  • I know you, perky; and you needn't try any tricks on me or it'll be the worse for you.

    Blacksheep! Blacksheep! Meredith Nicholson
  • perky seized the rockets and touched one after the other to the flames of the bonfire.

    Blacksheep! Blacksheep! Meredith Nicholson
  • But perky wired the Governor that he thought he was being watched?

    Blacksheep! Blacksheep! Meredith Nicholson
British Dictionary definitions for perky


adjective perkier, perkiest
jaunty; lively
confident; spirited
Derived Forms
perkily, adverb
perkiness, noun
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 perky

1820, from perk (v.) + -y (2). Of young women's breasts since at least 1937. Related: Perkily; perkiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for perky



Energetic and jaunty; lively; chipper (1855+)

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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