perk

1
[ purk ]
/ pɜrk /

verb (used without object)

to become lively, cheerful, or vigorous, as after depression or sickness (usually followed by up): The patients all perked up when we played the piano for them.
to act, or carry oneself, in a jaunty manner.
to put oneself forward briskly or presumptuously.

verb (used with object)

to make smart, trim, or jaunty (sometimes followed by up or out): to perk up a suit with a new white blouse.
to raise smartly or briskly (often followed by up or out): to perk one's head up.

adjective

perky; jaunty: a perk manner.

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Origin of perk

1
1350–1400; Middle English perken; perhaps akin to peer2

OTHER WORDS FROM perk

perk·ing·ly, adverbperk·ish, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for perk up (1 of 4)

perk up

verb (adverb)

to make or become more cheerful, hopeful, or lively
to rise or cause to rise brisklythe dog's ears perked up
(tr) to make smarter in appearanceshe perked up her outfit with a bright scarf
(intr) Australian slang to vomit

Word Origin for perk up

C14 perk, perhaps from Norman French perquer; see perch 1

British Dictionary definitions for perk up (2 of 4)

perk1
/ (pɜːk) /

adjective

pert; brisk; lively

verb

Word Origin for perk

C16: see perk up

British Dictionary definitions for perk up (3 of 4)

perk2
/ (pɜːk) /

verb informal

(intr) (of coffee) to percolate
(tr) to percolate (coffee)

British Dictionary definitions for perk up (4 of 4)

perk3
/ (pɜːk) /

noun

British informal short for perquisite
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

Idioms and Phrases with perk up

perk up

Restore to good spirits, liveliness, or good appearance, as in You're exhausted, but a cup of tea will perk you up, or The flowers perked up the whole room. [Mid-1600s]

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