Dictionary > Peep

Peep

peep
1. To cry, as a chicken hatching or newly hatched; to chirp; to cheep. There was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped. (Is. X. 14)
2. To begin to appear; to look forth from concealment; to make the first appearance. When flowers first peeped, and trees did blossoms bear. (Dryden)
3. To look cautiously or slyly; to peer, as through a crevice; to pry. eep through the blanket of the dark. (Shak) From her cabined loophole peep. (milton) Peep sight, an adjustable piece, pierced with a small hole to peep through in aiming, attached to a rifle or other firearm near the breech.
Origin: Of imitative origin; cf. OE. Pipen, F. Piper, pepier, L. Pipire, pipare, pipiare, D. & G. Piepen. Senses 2 and 3 perhaps come from a transfer of sense from the sound which chickens make upon the first breaking of the shell to the act accompanying it; or perhaps from the influence of peek, or peak. Cf. Pipe.
1. The cry of a young chicken; a chirp.
2. First outlook or appearance. Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn. (gray)
3. A sly look; a look as through a crevice, or from a place of concealment. To take t’ other peep at the stars. (swift)
4. (Science: zoology) Any small sandpiper, as the least sandpiper (Trigna minutilla). The European meadow pipit (Anthus pratensis). Peep show, a small show, or object exhibited, which is viewed through an orifice or a magnifying glass. Peep-o’-day boys, the irish insurgents of 1784; so called from their visiting the house of the loyal Irish at day break in search of arms.


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