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peep show

a display of objects or pictures viewed through a small opening that is usually fitted with a magnifying lens.
a short, usually erotic or titillating film shown in a coin-operated viewing machine equipped with a projector.
Origin of peep show
1850-55 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for peep-show
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Every young officer was keen to show us his particular "peep-show" or to tell us his latest "stunt."

    Now It Can Be Told Philip Gibbs
  • The sunset is better to look at, but it has no more moral meaning than a peep-show.

    A Pessimist Robert Timsol
  • Now have a look in the peep-show and take in the great spectacle: "From the Cradle to the Grave."

  • He raised his voice, and invited the people to come and see his peep-show.

    Faustus Friedrich Maximilian von Klinger
  • But they no longer live there now: all that part of San Marco has become a peep-show.

  • She liked this last "peep-show" very much, and kissed her father to show him that she did.

    Peeps Into China E. C. Phillips
  • I saw always the little pageant of man's life like a child's peep-show beside the dark wastes of eternity.

    The Path of the King John Buchan
  • I've enough work in this peep-show here to have me busy all night.

    Dope Sax Rohmer
  • The world is a peep-show, and I have satisfied my expectation.

    Lost Diaries Maurice Baring
Word Origin and History for peep-show

1851 (not typically salacious until c.1914), from peep (v.1) + show (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for peep-show

peep show

noun phrase

  1. A supposedly private view, as if through a hole in the wall, of some forbidden sexual activity (1914+)
  2. Leg Show (1940s+)

[found by 1851 as ''an exhibition of pictures viewed through a lens in a small hole'']

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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