I looked up to see where my bird of paradise had landed—presumably in a soft cloud in the rafters, preening her feathers.
Rather, they appear to be, to put it unkindly, preening bozos.
And of course doctors, brigades of doctors have entered the fray, flexing and preening for the ubiquitous television cameras.
Astonishingly, no one falls prey to the posturing or preening that haunts most Western conferences.
preening, arrogant, vindictive, and inexorable; awash with cash; corrupt; in bed with corporate America and big finance.
Flirtation was in her as charming and almost as meaningless as the preening of birds on the bank of a pool in the meadow.
Describe the preening of the feathers and explain the meaning of it.
The parrot sat, preening her plumage, on Long John's shoulder.
Minga stood on audacious toes; she bowed like a preening butterfly.
"I saw her preening before the mirror," said Helen, smiling.
"to trim, to dress up," late 14c., perhaps a variation of Middle English proynen, proinen "trim the feather with the beak" (see prune (v.)); or perhaps from Old French poroindre "anoint before," and Old French proignier "round off, prune." Middle English prene (from Old English preon, a general Germanic word) meant "to pin," and probably influenced the form of this word. Watkins, however, connects it with Latin unguere "to smear, anoint."
Because of the popularity of falconry, bird activities formerly were more closely observed and words for them were more precise in English than today.
Youre hawke proynith and not pikith and she prenyth not bot whan she begynnyth at hir leggys, and fetcheth moystour like oyle at hir taill. ["Book of St. Albans," 1486]