See more synonyms for peep on
verb (used without object)
  1. to look through a small opening or from a concealed location.
  2. to look slyly, pryingly, or furtively.
  3. to look curiously or playfully.
  4. to come partially into view; begin to appear: the first crocuses peeping through the snow-covered ground.
verb (used with object)
  1. to show or protrude slightly.
  1. a quick or furtive look or glance.
  2. the first appearance, as of dawn.
  3. an aperture for looking through.

Origin of peep

1425–75; late Middle English pepe; assimilated variant of peek

Synonyms for peep

See more synonyms for on
1, 2. Peep, peek, peer mean to look through, over, or around something. To peep or peek is usually to give a quick look through a narrow aperture or small opening, often furtively, slyly, or pryingly, or to look over or around something curiously or playfully: to peep over a wall; to peek into a room. Peek is often associated with children's games. To peer is to look continuously and narrowly for some time, especially in order to penetrate obscurity or to overcome some obstacle in the way of vision: The firefighter peered through the smoke.


  1. a short, shrill little cry or sound, as of a young bird; cheep; squeak.
  2. any of various small sandpipers.
  3. a slight sound or remark, especially in complaint: I don't want to hear a peep out of any of you!
verb (used without object)
  1. to utter the short, shrill little cry of a young bird, a mouse, etc.; cheep; squeak.
  2. to speak in a thin, weak voice.

Origin of peep

1400–50; late Middle English pepen, pipen; compare Dutch, German piepen, Old French piper, Latin pipāre, Greek pippízein, Czech pípat, Lithuanian pỹpti, all ultimately of imitative orig.


  1. Jeep.

Origin of peep

1940–45, Americanism; apparently alteration of jeep


plural noun, singular peep.
  1. one's friends, family, followers, etc.: I'll have to ask my peeps about this.
  2. people: Only ten peeps showed up for the hike.
Sometimes peepz.

Origin of peeps

1950–55; shortening and alteration of people + -s3 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for peep

hoot, pipe, twitter, cry, chuck, cheep, squeak, chatter, tweet, coo, churr, chirrup

Examples from the Web for peep

Contemporary Examples of peep

Historical Examples of peep

  • And if she's Cinderella, can't we have a peep at the fairy godmother?

  • I had a peep at him in the stall, an' he's lookin' purty fit.


    W. A. Fraser

  • Only one peep; and then the lid shall be shut down as safely as ever!

    The Paradise of Children

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • Morning arrived, and the boys, as usual, were up at the first peep of day.

  • My little one, you see, going round with me to have a peep at her father's birds.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

British Dictionary definitions for peep


verb (intr)
  1. to look furtively or secretly, as through a small aperture or from a hidden place
  2. to appear partially or brieflythe sun peeped through the clouds
  1. a quick or furtive look
  2. the first appearancethe peep of dawn

Word Origin for peep

C15: variant of peek


verb (intr)
  1. (esp of young birds) to utter shrill small noises
  2. to speak in a thin shrill voice
  1. a peeping sound
  2. US any of various small sandpipers of the genus Calidris (or Erolia) and related genera, such as the pectoral sandpiper

Word Origin for peep

C15: of imitative 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 peep

"glance" (especially through a small opening), mid-15c., perhaps alteration of Middle English piken (see peek (v.)). Peeping Tom "a curious prying fellow" [Grose] is from 1796; connection with Lady Godiva story dates only from 1837.


"make a short chirp," c.1400, probably altered from pipen (mid-13c.), ultimately imitative (cf. Latin pipare, French pepier, German piepen, Lithuanian pypti, Czech pipati, Greek pipos).


1520s, first in sense found in peep of day, from peep (v.1); meaning "a furtive glance" is first recorded 1730.


"short chirp," early 15c., from peep (v.2); meaning "slightest sound or utterance" (usually in a negative context) is attested from 1903. Meaning "young chicken" is from 1680s. The marshmallow peeps confection are said to date from 1950s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

peep in Medicine


  1. positive end-expiratory pressure
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with peep


see hear a peep out of.

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