Idioms

    keep one's eyes peeled, Informal. to watch closely or carefully; be alert: Keep your eyes peeled for a gas station.

Origin of peel

1
before 1100; Middle English pelen, Old English pilian to strip, skin < Latin pilāre to remove hair, derivative of pilus hair. See pill2

SYNONYMS FOR peel

1 Peel, pare agree in meaning to remove the skin or rind from something. Peel means to pull or strip off the natural external covering or protection of something: to peel an orange, a potato. Pare is used of trimming off chips, flakes, or superficial parts from something, as well as of cutting off the skin or rind: to pare the nails; to pare a potato.

Related forms

peel·a·ble, adjectiveun·peel·a·ble, adjectiveun·peeled, adjective

Can be confused

peal peel

Definition for peel (2 of 4)

peel

2
[ peel ]
/ pil /

noun

a shovellike implement for putting bread, pies, etc., into the oven or taking them out.
Metallurgy. a long, shovellike iron tool for charging an open-hearth furnace.

Origin of peel

2
1350–1400; Middle English pele < Middle French < Latin pāla spade. See palette

Definition for peel (3 of 4)

peel

3

or pele

[ peel ]
/ pil /

noun

a small fortified tower for residence or for use during an attack, common in the border counties of England and Scotland in the 16th century.

Origin of peel

3
1250–1300; Middle English pele fortress < Anglo-French pel stockade, Middle French pel stake < Latin pālus stake. See pale2

Definition for peel (4 of 4)

Peel

[ peel ]
/ pil /

noun

Sir Robert,1788–1850, British political leader: founder of the London constabulary; prime minister 1834–35; 1841–46.
a seaport on W Isle of Man: castle; resort.
a river in N Yukon Territory and NW Northwest Territories, Canada, flowing E and N to the Mackenzie River. 425 miles (684 km) long.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for peel

British Dictionary definitions for peel (1 of 4)

peel

1
/ (piːl) /

verb


noun

the skin or rind of a fruit, etc
See also peel off

Word Origin for peel

Old English pilian to strip off the outer layer, from Latin pilāre to make bald, from pilus a hair

British Dictionary definitions for peel (2 of 4)

peel

2
/ (piːl) /

noun

a long-handled shovel used by bakers for moving bread, in an oven

Word Origin for peel

C14 pele, from Old French, from Latin pāla spade, from pangere to drive in; see palette

British Dictionary definitions for peel (3 of 4)

peel

3
/ (piːl) /

noun

(in Britain) a fortified tower of the 16th century on the borders between England and Scotland, built to withstand raids

Word Origin for peel

C14 (fence made of stakes): from Old French piel stake, from Latin pālus; see pale ², paling

British Dictionary definitions for peel (4 of 4)

Peel

/ (piːl) /

noun

John, real name John Robert Parker Ravenscroft . 1939–2004, British broadcaster; presented his influential Radio 1 music programme (1967–2004) and Radio 4's Home Truths (1998–2004)
Sir Robert. 1788–1850, British statesman; Conservative prime minister (1834–35; 1841–46). As Home Secretary (1828–30) he founded the Metropolitan Police and in his second ministry carried through a series of free-trade budgets culminating in the repeal of the Corn Laws (1846), which split the Tory party

Derived Forms

Peelite, noun
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

Idioms and Phrases with peel

peel

In addition to the idiom beginning with peel

  • peel off

also see:

  • keep one's eyes open (peeled)

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