Peeping Tom

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

Words nearby Peeping Tom

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use Peeping Tom in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Peeping Tom

Peeping Tom

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

Cultural definitions for Peeping Tom

peeping Tom

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

notes for peeping Tom

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.

Other 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.