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[peer] /pɪər/
a person of the same legal status:
a jury of one's peers.
a person who is equal to another in abilities, qualifications, age, background, and social status.
something of equal worth or quality:
a sky-scraper without peer.
a nobleman.
a member of any of the five degrees of the nobility in Great Britain and Ireland (duke, marquis, earl, viscount, and baron).
Archaic. a companion.
Origin of peer1
1175-1225; Middle English per < Old French per < Latin pār equal


[peer] /pɪər/
verb (used without object)
to look narrowly or searchingly, as in the effort to discern clearly.
to peep out or appear slightly.
to come into view.
1585-95; perhaps aphetic variant of appear
Related forms
peeringly, adverb
1. See peep1 . Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for peer
  • They bring you a mirror and you peer and stare.
  • As the one being observed, you can receive some extremely valuable feedback from a peer.
  • Sighting movement, he began to peer through his scope.
  • These three phenomena are what provide the blur when earthbound astronomers attempt to peer at the stars with precision.
  • I've never given into peer pressure.
  • Ohio University has taken the unusual step of banning peer-to-peer software on its campus, a policy that took effect today.
  • There, Tao says, he finally found his peer group—people who loved math as much as he did.
  • Online peer-reviewed journals typically have faster turn-around times.
  • Wandering around the sprawling harvest market, I peer into tents filled with dates, peppers and pumpkins.
  • In following this peer-review process, such electronic journals hope to attain the same legitimacy granted to their print cousins.
British Dictionary definitions for peer


a member of a nobility; nobleman
a person who holds any of the five grades of the British nobility: duke, marquess, earl, viscount, and baron See also life peer
  1. a person who is an equal in social standing, rank, age, etc
  2. (as modifier): peer pressure
(archaic) a companion; mate
Word Origin
C14 (in sense 3): from Old French per, from Latin pār equal


verb (intransitive)
to look intently with or as if with difficulty: to peer into the distance
to appear partially or dimly: the sun peered through the fog
Word Origin
C16: from Flemish pieren to look with narrowed eyes
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 peer

c.1300, "an equal in rank or status" (early 13c. in Anglo-Latin), from Anglo-French peir, Old French per (10c.), from Latin par "equal" (see par (n.)). Sense of "a noble" (late 14c.) is from Charlemagne's Twelve Peers in the old romances, who, like the Arthurian knights of the Round Table, originally were so called because all were equal. Sociological sense of "one of the same age group or social set" is from 1944. Peer review attested by 1970. Peer pressure is first recorded 1971.


"to look closely," 1590s, variant of piren (late 14c.), with a long -i-, probably related to or from East Frisian piren "to look," of uncertain origin. Influenced in form and sense by Middle English peren (late 14c.), shortened form of aperen (see appear). Related: Peered; peering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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peer in Technology
A unit of communications hardware or software that is on the same protocol layer of a network as another. A common way of viewing a communications link is as two protocol stacks, which are actually connected only at the very lowest (physical) layer, but can be regarded as being connected at each higher layer by virtue of the services provided by the lower layers. Peer-to-peer communication refers to these real or virtual connections between corresponding systems in each layer.
To give a simple example, when two people talk to each other, the lowest layer is the physical layer which concerns the sound pressure waves travelling from mouth to ear (so mouths and ears are peers) the next layer might be the speech and hearing centres in the people's brains and the top layer their cerebellums or minds. Although, barring telepathy, nothing passes directly between the two minds, there is a peer-to-peer communication between them.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Related Abbreviations for peer


  1. Performance Efficiency Evaluation Report
  2. Program for Extraordinary Experience Research
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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