- Rhymes: -iːtə(r)
Etymology 1 
US, 1902, presumably from shared initial pe-.
peter (plural peters)
Etymology 2 
1812, US miners’ slang, Unknown. Various speculative etymologies have been suggested. One suggestion is that it comes from peter being an abbreviation of saltpeter, the key ingredient in gunpowder – when a mine was exhausted, it was “petered”. Other derivations are from St. Peter (from sense of “rock”), or French péter (“to fart”).
- (only used in the phrase peter out) To dwindle; to trail off; to diminish to nothing
Usage notes 
Originally used independently, today only used in the derived phrase peter out.