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See more synonyms for peat on Thesaurus.com
  1. a highly organic material found in marshy or damp regions, composed of partially decayed vegetable matter: it is cut and dried for use as fuel.
  2. such vegetable matter used as fertilizer or fuel.
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Origin of peat1

1300–50; Middle English pete (compare Anglo-Latin peta) < ?


noun Obsolete.
  1. a merry young girl; darling (used as a term of endearment).
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Origin of peat2

First recorded in 1560–70; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for peat

Historical Examples

  • With that, she sat down at the round table near the peat fire.

    Welsh Fairy Tales

    William Elliott Griffis

  • The room was dark by this time, and only the sullen glow from the peat fire was on our faces.

  • He broke the peat with the peat-stick and kicked it into the fire.

  • There he was in the peat loft when I went for the peats, and he had it all as fine as clerk after passon.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

  • This accounts for that great pebble of peat which we saw in the surf.

British Dictionary definitions for peat


    1. a compact brownish deposit of partially decomposed vegetable matter saturated with water: found in uplands and bogs in temperate and cold regions and used as a fuel (when dried) and as a fertilizer
    2. (as modifier)peat bog
  1. a piece of dried peat for use as fuel
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Derived Formspeaty, adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Anglo-Latin peta, perhaps from Celtic; compare Welsh peth thing


  1. archaic, derogatory a person, esp a woman
  2. obsolete a term of endearment for a girl or woman
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Word Origin

C16: of uncertain origin
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 peat


c.1200, in Scottish Latin, of unknown origin, probably from a Celtic root *pett- (cf. Cornish peyth, Welsh peth "quantity, part, thing," Old Irish pet, Breton pez "piece"). The earliest sense is not of the turf but of the cut piece of it, and the Celtic root may be connected to that of piece.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

peat in Science


  1. Partially decayed vegetable matter, especially peat moss, found in bogs. The low levels of oxygen and the acidic environment in bogs prevent the degradation of peat. Peat is burned as fuel and also used as fertilizer. See more at bog.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.