Peeping Tom

noun
  1. a person who obtains sexual gratification by observing others surreptitiously, especially a man who looks through windows at night.

Origin of Peeping Tom

First recorded in 1910–15; allusion to the legendary man who peeped at Lady Godiva as she rode naked through Coventry
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for peeping tom

watcher, peeper, scopophiliac, voyeur

Examples from the Web for peeping tom

Historical Examples of peeping tom

  • It remained for "Peeping-Tom" to think of a gas-mask in connection with this scheme.

    13 Days

    John Alan Lyde Caunter

  • Napier himself was too aware of a Peeping-Tom unseemliness in looking in upon these privacies to stand there watching.

    The Messenger

    Elizabeth Robins


British Dictionary definitions for peeping tom

Peeping Tom

noun
  1. a man who furtively observes women undressing; voyeur

Word Origin for Peeping Tom

C19: after the tailor who, according to legend, peeped at Lady Godiva when she rode naked through Coventry
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

peeping tom in Medicine

peeping Tom

[pēpĭng]
n.
  1. A person who gets pleasure, especially sexual pleasure, from secretly watching others; a voyeur.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

peeping tom in Culture

peeping Tom

One who derives pleasure, usually sexual, from secretly spying on others. (See voyeurism.)

Note

The original “peeping Tom” was a legendary resident of the town where Lady Godiva rode naked through the streets. According to the story, Tom defied official orders by looking out his window as she went by and was struck blind.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with peeping tom

peeping Tom

A person who secretly watches others, especially for sexual gratification; a voyeur. For example, The police caught a peeping Tom right outside their house. This expression, first recorded in 1796, alludes to the legend of the tailor Tom, the only person to watch the naked Lady Godiva as she rode by and who was struck blind for this sin.

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