peep

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See also: peeps, Peep, and PEEP

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) enPR: pēp, IPA(key): /piːp/
  • (US) IPA(key): /pip/, [pʰip]
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːp

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English pepen. Compare Dutch piepen (peep), German Low German piepen (to peep), German piepen and pfeifen, all probably onomatopoeic.

Noun[edit]

peep (plural peeps)

  1. A short, soft, high-pitched sound, as made by a baby bird.
  2. A feeble utterance or complaint.
    I don't want to hear a peep out of you!
  3. The sound of a steam engine's whistle; typically shrill.
    • 2001, Rev. W. Awdry, Thomas the tank engine collection : a unique collection of stories from the railway series - p. 177 - Egmont Books, Limited, Aug 15, 2001
      "Peep, peep," said Edward, "I'm ready."
      "Peep, peep, peep," said Henry, "so am I."
  4. (birdwatching, colloquial) A sandpiper or other small wader.
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

peep (third-person singular simple present peeps, present participle peeping, simple past and past participle peeped)

  1. To make a soft, shrill noise like a baby bird.
  2. To speak briefly with a quiet voice.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English pepen, variant of piken.

Verb[edit]

peep (third-person singular simple present peeps, present participle peeping, simple past and past participle peeped)

  1. (intransitive) To look, especially through a narrow opening, or while trying not to be seen or noticed.
    The man peeped through the small hole.
    • 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter I, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 24962326:
      And it was while all were passionately intent upon the pleasing and snake-like progress of their uncle that a young girl in furs, ascending the stairs two at a time, peeped perfunctorily into the nursery as she passed the hallway—and halted amazed.
    • 1959, Georgette Heyer, chapter 1, in The Unknown Ajax:
      But Richmond [] appeared to lose himself in his own reflections. Some pickled crab, which he had not touched, had been removed with a damson pie; and his sister saw, peeping around the massive silver epergne that almost obscured him from her view, that he had eaten no more than a spoonful of that either.
  2. (intransitive) To begin to appear; to look forth from concealment; to make the first appearance.
    • 1675, John Dryden, Aureng-zebe: A Tragedy. [], London: [] T[homas] N[ewcomb] for Henry Herringman, [], published 1676, OCLC 228724395, (please specify the page number):
      When flowers first peeped, and trees did blossoms bear.
    • 1851 November 14, Herman Melville, chapter 14, in Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, OCLC 57395299, page 70:
      They first caught crabs and quohogs in the sand; grown bolder, they waded out with nets for mackerel; more experienced, they pushed off in boats and captured cod; and at last, launching a navy of great ships on the sea, explored this watery world; put an incessant belt of circumnavigations round it; peeped in at Behring’s Straits; and in all seasons and all oceans declared everlasting war with the mightiest animated mass that has survived the flood; most monstrous and most mountainous!
  3. (transitive, MLE) To take a look at; check out.
    Did you peep that video I sent you?
Hypernyms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

peep (plural peeps)

  1. A quick look or glimpse, especially a furtive one.
  2. The first partial appearance of something; a beginning to appear.
    the peep of day
Translations[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Of uncertain origin; perhaps variant of pip.

Noun[edit]

peep (plural peeps)

  1. (obsolete) A spot on a die or domino.
Synonyms[edit]
  • (spot on die or domino): pip

Etymology 4[edit]

Back-formation from peeps, a shortened form of people.

Noun[edit]

peep (plural peeps)

  1. (Britain, slang) person.