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peacock

[pee-kok]
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noun, plural pea·cocks, (especially collectively) pea·cock.
  1. the male of the peafowl distinguished by its long, erectile, greenish, iridescent tail coverts that are brilliantly marked with ocellated spots and that can be spread in a fan.
  2. any peafowl.
  3. a vain, self-conscious person.
  4. (initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Pavo.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to make a vainglorious display; strut like a peacock.
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Origin of peacock

1250–1300; Middle English pecok, equivalent to pe- (Old English pēa peafowl < Latin pāvōn- pavo) + cok (Old English coc cock1)
Related formspea·cock·er·y, pea·cock·ism, nounpea·cock·ish, pea·cock·y, adjectivepea·cock·ish·ly, adverbpea·cock·ish·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for peacockish

Peacock

noun
  1. Thomas Love. 1785–1866, English novelist and poet, noted for his satirical romances, including Headlong Hall (1816) and Nightmare Abbey (1818)
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peacock

noun plural -cocks or -cock
  1. a male peafowl, having a crested head and a very large fanlike tail marked with blue and green eyelike spotsRelated adjective: pavonine
  2. another name for peafowl
  3. a vain strutting person
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verb
  1. to display (oneself) proudly
  2. obsolete, slang, Australian to acquire (the best pieces of land) in such a way that the surrounding land is useless to others
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Derived Formspeacockish, adjectivepeahen, fem n

Word Origin

C14 pecok, pe- from Old English pāwa (from Latin pāvō peacock) + cock 1
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 peacockish

peacock

n.

c.1300, poucock, from Middle English po "peacock" + coc (see cock (n.)).

Po is from Old English pawa "peafowl" (cock or hen), from Latin pavo (genitive pavonis), which, with Greek taos said to be ultimately from Tamil tokei (but perhaps is imitative; Latin represented the peacock's sound as paupulo).

The Latin word also is the source of Old High German pfawo, German Pfau, Dutch pauw, Old Church Slavonic pavu. Used as the type of a vainglorious person from late 14c. Its flesh superstitiously was believed to be incorruptible (even St. Augustine credits this). "When he sees his feet, he screams wildly, thinking that they are not in keeping with the rest of his body." [Epiphanus]

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with peacockish

peacock

see proud as a peacock.

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