- 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
- pert; brisk; lively
- See perk up
Word Origin for perk
- (intr) (of coffee) to percolate
- (tr) to percolate (coffee)
- British informal short for perquisite
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.