- any domesticated or tamed animal that is kept as a companion and cared for affectionately.
- a person especially cherished or indulged; favorite: He was the teacher's pet.
- a thing particularly cherished.
- kept or treated as a pet: a pet lamb.
- especially cherished or indulged, as a child or other person.
- favorite; most preferred: a pet theory.
- showing fondness or affection: to address someone with pet words.
- to fondle or caress: to pet a dog.
- to treat as a pet; indulge.
- Informal. to engage in kissing, caressing, and other sexual activity with one’s partner, but not sexual intercourse.
Origin of pet1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- a fit of peevishness, sulking, or bad mood.
- to be peevish; sulk.
Origin of pet2
- positron emission tomography.
Examples from the Web for pet
Owing to its popularity as a pet, it has spread across the Pacific to China.The Buddhist Business of Poaching Animals for Good Karma
December 28, 2014
This season is all about monitoring posture, scrutinizing sun exposure, even exploring the health of a pet.Nothing Says I Love You Like Data
The Daily Beast
December 8, 2014
When POTUS asked Malia if she wanted to pet the turkey before he granted its reprieve, she responded appropriately: “Nah.”GOP Flack Throws Shade at First Teens
November 29, 2014
As he describes why he plans to spend the rest of his days in Kisangani, a pet parrot gnaws on his Rolex.‘Argo’ in the Congo: The Ghosts of the Stanleyville Hostage Crisis
November 23, 2014
Republicans have a host of other pet bills to restrict abortion access in the context of the new health-care legislation.GOP Senate Can't Resist a ‘War on Women’
November 11, 2014
She had been a pet all her life, and, like most pets, her eye partook of the human quality.Way of the Lawless
Between the two he contented himself with the pet name of Saffy.Weighed and Wanting
Poor Mart Colson would not have known what to do with a pet name.Ester Ried Yet Speaking
It had been the dear pet plan they had nursed in common with all the parish.Quaint Courtships
I did not know you had been in a yard before—says you were the pet at Elmore's in London.Night and Morning, Complete
- a tame animal kept in a household for companionship, amusement, etc
- a person who is fondly indulged; favouriteteacher's pet
- kept as a peta pet dog
- of or for pet animalspet food
- particularly cherished; favouritea pet theory; a pet hatred
- familiar or affectionatea pet name
- pet day Scot and Irish a single fine day during a period of bad weather
- (tr) to treat (a person, animal, etc) as a pet; pamper
- (tr) to pat or fondle (an animal, child, etc)
- (intr) informal (of two people) to caress each other in an erotic manner, as during lovemaking (often in the phrase heavy petting)
- a fit of sulkiness, esp at what is felt to be a slight; pique
- (intr) to take offence; sulk
- positron emission tomography
- potentially exempt transfer: a procedure in the UK whereby gifting property and cash is tax-free, provided that the donor lives for at least seven years after the gift is made
Word Origin and History for pet
"tamed animal," originally in Scottish and northern England dialect (and exclusively so until mid-18c.), of unknown origin. Sense of "indulged child" (c.1500) is recorded slightly earlier than that of "animal kept as a favorite" (1530s), but the latter may be the primary meaning. Probably associated with or influenced by petty. As a term of endearment by 1849. Teacher's pet is attested from 1890. Pet-shop from 1928.
"peevishness, offense at feeling slighted," 1580s, in phrase take the pet "take offense." Perhaps from pet (n.1) on a similar notion to that in American English that gets my goat, but the underlying notion is obscure, and the form of the original expression makes this doubtful. This word seems to have been originally a southern English term, while pet (n.1) was northern and Scottish.
- positron emission tomography