peter

1
[ pee-ter ]
/ ˈpi tər /

verb (used without object)

to diminish gradually and stop; dwindle to nothing; gradually come to an end (usually followed by out or away): The criticism seems to have petered out.The hearings petered to an inevitable conclusion.
to tire; become exhausted (usually followed by out): I began to peter out after walking about 2 miles.

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Origin of peter

1
First recorded in 1845–50; origin uncertain

Definition for peter (2 of 4)

peter2
[ pee-ter ]
/ ˈpi tər /

noun Slang: Vulgar.

Origin of peter

2
First recorded in 1900–05; generic use of the proper name

Definition for peter (3 of 4)

peter3
[ pee-ter ]
/ ˈpi tər /

noun Whist.

a signal for an echo.

Origin of peter

3
First recorded in 1935–40; from blue peter

Definition for peter (4 of 4)

Peter
[ pee-ter ]
/ ˈpi tər /

noun

Also called Simon Peter. died a.d. 67?, one of the 12 apostles and the reputed author of two of the Epistles.
either of these two Epistles in the New Testament, I Peter or II Peter.
a word formerly used in communications to represent the letter P.
a male given name.

Origin of Peter

Middle English; Old English Petrus<Latin <Greek Pétros stone, translation of Syriac kēfā
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for peter

British Dictionary definitions for peter (1 of 4)

peter1
/ (ˈpiːtə) /

verb

(intr; foll by out or away) to fall (off) in volume, intensity, etc, and finally ceasethe cash petered out in three months

Word Origin for peter

C19: of unknown origin

British Dictionary definitions for peter (2 of 4)

peter2
/ (ˈpiːtə) bridge whist /

verb (intr)

to play a high card before a low one in a suit, usually a conventional signal of a doubleton holding or of strength in that suit

noun

the act of petering

Word Origin for peter

C20: perhaps a special use of peter 1 (to fall off in power)

British Dictionary definitions for peter (3 of 4)

peter3
/ (ˈpiːtə) /

noun slang

a safe, till, or cash box
a prison cell
the witness box in a courtroom
mainly US a slang word for penis

Word Origin for peter

C17 (meaning a case): from the name Peter

British Dictionary definitions for peter (4 of 4)

Peter
/ (ˈpiːtə) /

noun New Testament

Saint. Also called: Simon Peter. died ?67 ad, a fisherman of Bethsaida, who became leader of the apostles and is regarded by Roman Catholics as the first pope; probably martyred at Rome. Feast day: June 29 or Jan 18
either of two epistles traditionally ascribed to Peter (in full The First Epistle and The Second Epistle of Peter)
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

Cultural definitions for peter

Peter

Chief among the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, he was a fisherman, originally named Simon (and often called Simon Peter). Jesus gave him the name Rock, of which “Peter” is a translation. Peter showed great faith but also exhibited great failings (see Get thee behind me, Satan). In the frightening hours before the Crucifixion, Peter three times denied being a follower of Jesus, just as Jesus had predicted he would. Nevertheless, Peter went on to become the leader of the early Christians (see also Christian) (see Pentecost), thus fulfilling another prophecy of Jesus, who had said of Peter, “Upon this rock I will build my church.... And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.”

notes for Peter

Peter is often depicted holding keys. Roman Catholics maintain a number of traditions about Peter: that he was the first of the popes, for example, and that he was martyred at Rome by being crucified upside down, because he refused to be crucified as Jesus had been.

notes for Peter

The great church of the Vatican, Saint Peter's Basilica, was later built on what was believed to be the site of his burial.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.