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peck1

[pek] /pɛk/
noun
1.
a dry measure of 8 quarts; the fourth part of a bushel, equal to 537.6 cubic inches (8.81 liters).
2.
a container for measuring this quantity.
Abbreviation: pk, pk.
3.
a considerable quantity:
a peck of trouble.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English pek < Old French < ?
Can be confused
pecks, pecs.

peck2

[pek] /pɛk/
verb (used with object)
1.
to strike or indent with the beak, as a bird does, or with some pointed instrument, especially with quick, repeated movements.
2.
to make (a hole, puncture, etc.) by such strokes; pierce.
3.
to take (food) bit by bit, with or as with the beak.
verb (used without object)
4.
to make strokes with the beak or a pointed instrument.
noun
5.
a quick stroke, as in pecking.
6.
a hole or mark made by or as by pecking.
7.
a quick, almost impersonal kiss:
a peck on the cheek.
8.
(in timber) incipient decay from fungi, occurring in isolated spots.
9.
pecks, Also, peckings. Slang. food.
Verb phrases
10.
peck at,
  1. to nibble indifferently or unenthusiastically at (food).
  2. to nag or carp at:
    Stop pecking at me, I'm doing the best I can.
Origin
1300-50; Middle English pecke < Middle Dutch pecken; akin to pick1
Related forms
unpecked, adjective
Synonyms
10a. pick at, poke at.

Peck

[pek] /pɛk/
noun
1.
Annie Smith, 1850–1935, U.S. mountain climber.
2.
Gregory, 1916–2003, U.S. actor.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for peck
  • He breaks the skin and leaves little red peck marks.
  • Haven't noticed them actually eating though they do peck at it.
  • They stood around the poor thing, and ever so often, one would move in and peck its tail.
  • Were the egg to bounce free, she would fiercely peck and break it.
  • The message appears on the telephone display, and it is a simple matter to peck out a short response and send it.
  • The decrepit, bony creature's head almost touches the ground while hovering birds dive to peck his back.
  • The pigeon was thus forced to use its beak to peck at a target-such as a ship, building or specific street corner.
  • They next peck at the water and then rapidly open and close their beaks.
  • Mongrel dogs snooze in the shade, scrawny chickens peck in yards.
  • Wash and scrub with a brush one-half peck clams, changing the water several times.
British Dictionary definitions for peck

peck1

/pɛk/
noun
1.
a unit of dry measure equal to 8 quarts or one quarter of a bushel
2.
a container used for measuring this quantity
3.
a large quantity or number
Word Origin
C13: from Anglo-Norman, of uncertain origin

peck2

/pɛk/
verb
1.
when intr, sometimes foll by at. to strike with the beak or with a pointed instrument
2.
(transitive) sometimes foll by out. to dig (a hole) by pecking
3.
(transitive) (of birds) to pick up (corn, worms, etc) by pecking
4.
(intransitive) often foll by at. to nibble or pick (at one's food)
5.
(informal) to kiss (a person) quickly and lightly
6.
(intransitive) foll by at. to nag
noun
7.
a quick light blow, esp from a bird's beak
8.
a mark made by such a blow
9.
(informal) a quick light kiss
Word Origin
C14: of uncertain origin; compare pick1, Middle Low German pekken to jab with the beak

Peck

/pɛk/
noun
1.
Gregory. 1916–2003, US film actor; his films include Keys of the Kingdom (1944), The Gunfighter (1950), The Big Country (1958), To Kill a Mockingbird (1963), The Omen (1976), and Other People's Money (1991)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for peck
v.

c.1300, possibly a variant of picken (see pick (v.)), or in part from Middle Low German pekken "to peck with the beak." Related: Pecked; pecking.

n.

late 13c., "dry measure of one-quarter bushel," of unknown origin; perhaps connected with Old French pek, picot (13c.), also of unknown origin (Barnhart says these were borrowed from English). Chiefly of oats for horses; original sense may be "allowance" rather than a fixed measure, thus perhaps from peck (v.).

"act of pecking," 1610s, from peck (v.). It is attested earlier in thieves' slang (1560s) with a sense of "food, grub."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for peck

peck

noun
  1. peckerwood (1940s+ Black)
  2. Food (1960s+ Teenagers)
  3. A perfunctory kiss: She gave him a friendly peck and got back to work (1893+)
verb

To eat (1960s+ Black)

Related Terms

a peck of trouble


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Encyclopedia Article for peck

unit of capacity in the U.S. Customary and the British Imperial Systems of measurement. In the United States the peck is used only for dry measure and is equal to 8 dry quarts, or 537.6 cubic inches (8.810 litres). In Great Britain the peck may be used for either liquid or dry measure and is equal to 8 imperial quarts (2 imperial gallons), or one-fourth imperial bushel, or 554.84 cubic inches (9.092 litres). The peck has been in use since the early 14th century, when it was introduced as a measure for flour. The term referred to varying quantities, however, until the modern units were defined in the 19th century.

Learn more about peck with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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12
14
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