verb (used without object)

to look narrowly or searchingly, as in the effort to discern clearly.
to peep out or appear slightly.
to come into view.

Origin of peer

First recorded in 1585–95; perhaps aphetic variant of appear
Related formspeer·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms for peer

1. See peep1. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for peered

Contemporary Examples of peered

Historical Examples of peered

  • No answer coming, he peered through the window, but saw no one.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • Andrew peered into the grim face of the older man; there was not a flicker of a smile in it.

  • He raised the covering hand, and peered at the coin in the gathering gloom.

  • She peered out of the window, and then leant her head through the opening.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • I walked straight to the gate through which she had entered and peered in.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

British Dictionary definitions for peered




a member of a nobility; nobleman
a person who holds any of the five grades of the British nobility: duke, marquess, earl, viscount, and baronSee also life peer
  1. a person who is an equal in social standing, rank, age, etc
  2. (as modifier)peer pressure
archaic a companion; mate

Word Origin for peer

C14 (in sense 3): from Old French per, from Latin pār equal



verb (intr)

to look intently with or as if with difficultyto peer into the distance
to appear partially or dimlythe sun peered through the fog

Word Origin for peer

C16: from Flemish pieren to look with narrowed eyes
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 peered



c.1300, "an equal in rank or status" (early 13c. in Anglo-Latin), from Anglo-French peir, Old French per (10c.), from Latin par "equal" (see par (n.)). Sense of "a noble" (late 14c.) is from Charlemagne's Twelve Peers in the old romances, who, like the Arthurian knights of the Round Table, originally were so called because all were equal. Sociological sense of "one of the same age group or social set" is from 1944. Peer review attested by 1970. Peer pressure is first recorded 1971.



"to look closely," 1590s, variant of piren (late 14c.), with a long -i-, probably related to or from East Frisian piren "to look," of uncertain origin. Influenced in form and sense by Middle English peren (late 14c.), shortened form of aperen (see appear). Related: Peered; peering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper