take down a peg, to reduce the pride or arrogance of; humble: I guess that'll take him down a peg!

Origin of peg

1400–50; late Middle English pegge (noun), peggen (v.) < Middle Dutch
Related formspeg·less, adjectivepeg·like, adjectivere·peg, verb, re·pegged, re·peg·ging. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for peglike

Historical Examples of peglike

British Dictionary definitions for peglike



a small cylindrical pin or dowel, sometimes slightly tapered, used to join two parts together
a pin pushed or driven into a surface: used to mark scores, define limits, support coats, etc
music any of several pins passing through the head (peg box) of a stringed instrument, which can be turned so as to tune strings wound around themSee also pin (def. 11)
Also called: clothes peg British a split or hinged pin for fastening wet clothes to a line to dryUS and Canadian equivalent: clothespin
informal a person's leg
Northern English dialect a tooth
British a small drink of wine or spirits, esp of brandy or whisky and soda
an opportunity or pretext for doing somethinga peg on which to hang a theory
a mountaineering piton
croquet a post that a player's ball must strike to win the game
angling a fishing station allotted to an angler in a competition, marked by a peg in the ground
informal a level of self-esteem, importance, etc (esp in the phrases bring or take down a peg)
informal See peg leg
off the peg mainly British (of clothes) ready to wear, as opposed to tailor-made

verb pegs, pegging or pegged

(tr) to knock or insert a peg into or pierce with a peg
(tr sometimes foll by down) to secure with pegsto peg a tent
mountaineering to insert or use pitons
(tr) to mark (a score) with pegs, as in some card games
(tr) informal to aim and throw (missiles) at a target
(intr; foll by away, along, etc) mainly British to work steadilyhe pegged away at his job for years
(tr) to stabilize (the price of a commodity, an exchange rate, etc) by legislation or market operations
See also peg down, peg out

Word Origin for peg

C15: from Low Germanic pegge
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 peglike



mid-15c., from Middle Dutch pegge "peg," a common Low German word (cf. Low German pigge "peg," German Pegel "gauge rod, watermark," Middle Dutch pegel "little knob used as a mark," Dutch peil "gauge, watermark, standard"), of uncertain origin; perhaps from PIE *bak- "staff used as support" (see bacillus). To be a square peg in a round hole "be inappropriate for one's situation" is attested from 1836; to take someone down a peg is from 1580s, but the original literal sense is uncertain (most of the likely candidates are not attested until centuries later). Peg leg "wooden leg" attested from 1765.



"fasten with or as if on a peg," 1590s, from peg (n.). Slang sense of "identify, classify" first recorded 1920. Related: Pegged; pegging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with peglike


In addition to the idiom beginning with peg

  • peg away at

also see:

  • square peg in a round hole
  • take down a notch (peg)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.