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pet

1
[pet]
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noun
  1. any domesticated or tamed animal that is kept as a companion and cared for affectionately.
  2. a person especially cherished or indulged; favorite: He was the teacher's pet.
  3. a thing particularly cherished.
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adjective
  1. kept or treated as a pet: a pet lamb.
  2. especially cherished or indulged, as a child or other person.
  3. favorite; most preferred: a pet theory.
  4. showing fondness or affection: to address someone with pet words.
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verb (used with object), pet·ted, pet·ting.
  1. to fondle or caress: to pet a dog.
  2. to treat as a pet; indulge.
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verb (used without object), pet·ted, pet·ting.
  1. Informal. to engage in kissing, caressing, and other sexual activity with one’s partner, but not sexual intercourse.
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Origin of pet

1
1500–10; (noun) perhaps back formation from pet lamb cade lamb, shortened variant of petty lamb little lamb (see petty); (v.) derivative of the noun
Related formspet·ta·ble, adjective

Synonyms for pet

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pet

2
[pet]
noun
  1. a fit of peevishness, sulking, or bad mood.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to be peevish; sulk.
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Origin of pet

2
1580–90; origin uncertain; cf. pettish

PET

[pet]
  1. positron emission tomography.
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Compare PET scan.

pet.

  1. petroleum.
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Pet.

  1. Peter.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for pet

treasure, dog, lover, fondle, coddle, cuddle, caress, pamper, loved, favored, preferred, endearing, dear, darling, special, cherished, dearest, evergreen, love, jewel

Examples from the Web for pet

Contemporary Examples of pet

Historical Examples of pet

  • She had been a pet all her life, and, like most pets, her eye partook of the human quality.

  • Between the two he contented himself with the pet name of Saffy.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Poor Mart Colson would not have known what to do with a pet name.

  • It had been the dear pet plan they had nursed in common with all the parish.

  • I did not know you had been in a yard before—says you were the pet at Elmore's in London.

    Night and Morning, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton


British Dictionary definitions for pet

pet

1
noun
  1. a tame animal kept in a household for companionship, amusement, etc
  2. a person who is fondly indulged; favouriteteacher's pet
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adjective
  1. kept as a peta pet dog
  2. of or for pet animalspet food
  3. particularly cherished; favouritea pet theory; a pet hatred
  4. familiar or affectionatea pet name
  5. pet day Scot and Irish a single fine day during a period of bad weather
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verb pets, petting or petted
  1. (tr) to treat (a person, animal, etc) as a pet; pamper
  2. (tr) to pat or fondle (an animal, child, etc)
  3. (intr) informal (of two people) to caress each other in an erotic manner, as during lovemaking (often in the phrase heavy petting)
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Derived Formspetter, noun

Word Origin for pet

C16: origin unknown

pet

2
noun
  1. a fit of sulkiness, esp at what is felt to be a slight; pique
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verb pets, petting or petted
  1. (intr) to take offence; sulk
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Word Origin for pet

C16: of uncertain origin

PET

abbreviation for
  1. positron emission tomography
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n acronym for
  1. potentially exempt transfer: a procedure in the UK whereby gifting property and cash is tax-free, provided that the donor lives for at least seven years after the gift is made
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Pet.

abbreviation for
  1. Peter
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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 pet

n.1

"tamed animal," originally in Scottish and northern England dialect (and exclusively so until mid-18c.), of unknown origin. Sense of "indulged child" (c.1500) is recorded slightly earlier than that of "animal kept as a favorite" (1530s), but the latter may be the primary meaning. Probably associated with or influenced by petty. As a term of endearment by 1849. Teacher's pet is attested from 1890. Pet-shop from 1928.

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n.2

"peevishness, offense at feeling slighted," 1580s, in phrase take the pet "take offense." Perhaps from pet (n.1) on a similar notion to that in American English that gets my goat, but the underlying notion is obscure, and the form of the original expression makes this doubtful. This word seems to have been originally a southern English term, while pet (n.1) was northern and Scottish.

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v.

1620s, "treat as a pet," from pet (n.1). Sense of "to stroke" is first found 1818. Slang sense of "kiss and caress" is from 1920 (implied in petting). Related: Petted.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pet in Medicine

PET

abbr.
  1. positron emission tomography
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with pet

pet

In addition to the idiom beginning with pet

  • pet peeve

also see:

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