- 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.
- 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.
- perky; jaunty: a perk manner.
Origin of perk1
- 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
- pert; brisk; lively
- See perk up
- (intr) (of coffee) to percolate
- (tr) to percolate (coffee)
- British informal short for perquisite
Word Origin and History for perk up
late 14c., "to make oneself trim or smart," perhaps from Old North French perquer "to perch" (Modern French percher; see perch (n.1)), on notion of a bird preening its plumage. Sense of "raise oneself briskly" is first attested 1520s; perk up "recover liveliness" is from 1650s. Related: Perked; perking.
Idioms and Phrases with 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]