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See more synonyms for peer on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object)
  1. to look narrowly or searchingly, as in the effort to discern clearly.
  2. to peep out or appear slightly.
  3. to come into view.
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Origin of peer2

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


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. See peep1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for peering

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The old man was peering at him sharply from under the grey protruding brows.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • For other passages containing the comedy of "peering," v. Bac.

    The Dramatic Values in Plautus

    Wilton Wallace Blancke

  • "I think that I can see them yet," said Ford, peering down the moonlit road.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • I wished him to go on, but he was peering into my straining eyes with anxious sympathy.

  • Mr. Winship asked at last, peering out at the carriage window.

British Dictionary definitions for peering


  1. a member of a nobility; nobleman
  2. 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
  3. archaic a companion; mate
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Word Origin

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


verb (intr)
  1. to look intently with or as if with difficultyto peer into the distance
  2. to appear partially or dimlythe sun peered through the fog
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Word Origin

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 peering



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.

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"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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper