9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[peek] /pik/
verb (used without object)
to look or glance quickly or furtively, especially through a small opening or from a concealed location; peep; peer.
a quick or furtive look or glance; peep.
Origin of peek
1325-75; Middle English piken (v.); perhaps dissimilated variant of kiken to keek
Can be confused
peak, peek, pique, piqué.
1. See peep1 . Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for peek
  • Students who peek into the door of language yet cannot go further are being denied a key component of a university education.
  • Set your alarms early for the next few days to sneak a peek at a stargazing spectacle.
  • But models are not the only way to peek into the future.
  • The museum recently sent out a sneak peek of what visitors to the new exhibit can expect.
  • Tiny succulent rosettes peek out from openings between the slats.
  • If your budget is as tight as mine is, ask any friends who have professional clothing for a peek in their closet.
  • We take a peek inside to find out how it works, and discuss its first results.
  • Sunrise is defined as the moment the top edge of the sun appears to peek over the horizon.
  • No longer is there any real risk of exposure when you want to take a peek at a racy photo or video.
  • peek at other visitors through the openings as you climb, and admire the ingenious design.
British Dictionary definitions for peek


(intransitive) to glance quickly or furtively; peep
a quick or furtive glance
Word Origin
C14 pike, related to Middle Dutch kiken to peek
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 peek

late 14c., piken "look quickly and slyly," of unknown origin. The words peek, keek, and peep all were used with more or less the same meaning 14c.-15c.; perhaps the ultimate source was Middle Dutch kieken. Related: Peeked; peeking.


"a peek, glance," 1844, from peek (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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peek in Technology

The command in most microcomputer BASICs for reading memory contents (a byte) at an absolute address. POKE is the corresponding command to write a value to an absolute address.
This is often extended to mean the corresponding constructs in any High Level Language.
Much hacking on small microcomputers without MMUs consists of "peek"ing around memory, more or less at random, to find the location where the system keeps interesting stuff. Long (and variably accurate) lists of such addresses for various computers circulate (see interrupt list). The results of "poke"s at these addresses may be highly useful, mildly amusing, useless but neat, or total lossage (see killer poke).
Since a real operating system provides useful, higher-level services for the tasks commonly performed with peeks and pokes on micros, and real languages tend not to encourage low-level memory groveling, a question like "How do I do a peek in C?" is diagnostic of the newbie. Of course, operating system kernels often have to do exactly this; a real C hacker would unhesitatingly, if unportably, assign an absolute address to a pointer variable and indirect through it.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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