noun, plural peacocks (especially collectively) peacock.
the male of the peafowl distinguished by its long, erectile, greenish, iridescent tail coverts that are brilliantly marked with ocellated spots and that can be spread in a fan.
any peafowl.
a vain, self-conscious person.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Pavo.
verb (used without object)
to make a vainglorious display; strut like a peacock.

1250–1300; Middle English pecok, equivalent to pe- (Old English pēa peafowl < Latin pāvōn- pavo) + cok (Old English coc cock1)

peacockery, peacockism, noun
peacockish, peacocky, adjective
peacockishly, adverb
peacockishness, noun Unabridged


Thomas love, 1785–1866, English poet and novelist. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
peacock (ˈpiːˌkɒk)
n , pl -cocks, -cock
1.  a male peafowl, having a crested head and a very large fanlike tail marked with blue and green eyelike spotsRelated: pavonine
2.  another name for peafowl
3.  a vain strutting person
4.  to display (oneself) proudly
5.  obsolete, slang (Austral) to acquire (the best pieces of land) in such a way that the surrounding land is useless to others
Related: pavonine
[C14 pecok, pe- from Old English pāwa (from Latin pāvō peacock) + cock1]
fem n

Peacock (ˈpiːˌkɒk)
Thomas Love. 1785--1866, English novelist and poet, noted for his satirical romances, including Headlong Hall (1816) and Nightmare Abbey (1818)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, poucock, from M.E. po "peacock" + coc (see cock (n.)). Po is from O.E. pawa "peafowl," from L. pavo (gen. pavonis), which, with Gk. taos said to be ultimately from Tamil tokei (but perhaps is imitative; Latin represented the peacock's sound as paupulo). The Latin word
also is the source of O.H.G. pfawo, Ger. Pfau, Du. pauw, O.C.S. pavu. Used as the type of a vainglorious person from late 14c. Its flesh superstitiously believed to be incorruptible (even St. Augustine credits this). "When he sees his feet, he screams wildly, thinking that they are not in keeping with the rest of his body." [Epiphanus]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Peacock definition

(Heb. tuk, apparently borrowed from the Tamil tokei). This bird is indigenous to India. It was brought to Solomon by his ships from Tarshish (1 Kings 10:22; 2 Chr. 9:21), which in this case was probably a district on the Malabar coast of India, or in Ceylon. The word so rendered in Job 39:13 literally means wild, tumultuous crying, and properly denotes the female ostrich (q.v.).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see proud as a peacock.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Idioms & Phrases
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