[ peek-uh-boo ]
/ ˈpik əˌbu /


Also called bo-peep. a game played by or with very young children, typically in which one covers the face or hides and then suddenly uncovers the face or reappears, calling “Peekaboo!”


  1. decorated with openwork.
  2. made of a sheer and revealing material, as some blouses for women.
appearing briefly and then vanishing, or promising to appear but failing to do so: the fluctuating response of the stock market to a peekaboo economic recovery.

Nearby words

  1. pee dee,
  2. peebles,
  3. peeblesshire,
  4. peegee hydrangea,
  5. peek,
  6. peekapoo,
  7. peekskill,
  8. peel,
  9. peel off,
  10. peel out

Origin of peekaboo

1590–1600; peek + -a- connective + boo1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for peekaboo

British Dictionary definitions for peekaboo


/ (ˈpiːkəˌbuː) /


a game for young children, in which one person hides his face and suddenly reveals it and cries "peekaboo."


(of a garment) made of fabric that is almost transparent or patterned with small holes

Word Origin for peekaboo

C16: from peek + boo

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 peekaboo



also peek-a-boo, as a children's game attested from 1590s; as an adjective meaning "see-through, open," it dates from 1895. From peek (v.) + boo.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper