|—vb (when intr, |
|1.||to strike with the beak or with a pointed instrument|
|2.||to dig (a hole) by pecking|
|3.||(tr) (of birds) to pick up (corn, worms, etc) by pecking|
|4.||to nibble or pick (at one's food)|
|5.||informal to kiss (a person) quickly and lightly|
|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|
|[C14: of uncertain origin; compare |
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.