peck

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English[edit]

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Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English pecken, pekken, variant of Middle English picken, pikken (to pick, use a pointed implement). More at pick.

Verb[edit]

peck (third-person singular simple present pecks, present participle pecking, simple past and past participle pecked)

  1. To strike or pierce with the beak or bill (of a bird) or similar instrument.
    The birds pecked at their food.
    • 1922, Virginia Woolf, Jacob's Room, Chapter 2
      The rooster had been known to fly on her shoulder and peck her neck, so that now she carried a stick or took one of the children with her when she went to feed the fowls.
  2. (transitive) To form by striking with the beak or a pointed instrument.
    to peck a hole in a tree
  3. To strike, pick, thrust against, or dig into, with a pointed instrument, especially with repeated quick movements.
  4. To seize and pick up with the beak, or as if with the beak; to bite; to eat; often with up.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Addison to this entry?)
    • Shakespeare
      This fellow pecks up wit as pigeons peas.
  5. To do something in small, intermittent pieces.
    He has been pecking away at that project for some time now.
  6. To type by searching for each key individually.
  7. (rare) To type in general.
  8. To kiss briefly.
    • 1997, J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Chapter 1; 1998 ed., Scholastic Press, ISBN 0-590-35340-3, p. 2
      At half past eight, Mr. Dursley picked up his briefcase, pecked Mrs. Dursley on the cheek, and tried to kiss Dudley good-bye but missed, because Dudley was now having a tantrum and throwing his cereal at the walls.
Translations[edit]
Derived terms[edit]

Noun[edit]

peck (plural pecks)

  1. An act of pecking.
  2. A small kiss.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Probably from Anglo-Norman pek, pekke, of uncertain origin.

Noun[edit]

peck (plural pecks)

  1. One quarter of a bushel; a dry measure of eight quarts.
    They picked a peck of wheat.
  2. A great deal; a large or excessive quantity.
    She figured most children probably ate a peck of dirt before they turned ten.
    • Milton
      a peck of uncertainties and doubts
Translations[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Variant of pick (to throw).

Verb[edit]

peck (third-person singular simple present pecks, present participle pecking, simple past and past participle pecked)

  1. (regional) To throw.
  2. To lurch forward; especially, of a horse, to stumble after hitting the ground with the toe instead of teh flat of the foot.
    • 1928, Siegfried Sassoon, Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man, Penguin 2013, p. 97:
      Anyhow, one of them fell, another one pecked badly, and Jerry disengaged himself from the group to scuttle up the short strip of meadow to win by a length.

Etymology 4[edit]

Noun[edit]

peck (uncountable)

  1. Discoloration caused by fungus growth or insects.
    an occurrence of peck in rice
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 5[edit]

Noun[edit]

peck (plural pecks)

  1. Common misspelling of pec.