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[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 peering
  • Betty's bees are so laid back they didn't even seem to notice us peering in.
  • He is not a prophet in the sense of peering into a crystal ball.
  • She inspected us every day, scrutinizing our fingernails for dirt and peering in our ears for wax.
  • peering into the truths of reality is of value and needs no further justification.
  • Nor is it ever unlatched to those who sit at the gate rattling at the bars, or plaintively peering in.
  • He came back, to find us peering hopelessly up into the tree top, trying to place where the other coatis were.
  • The inner door was thrown wide open and inquisitive faces were peering in at it.
  • The idea that the real crime was the peering into the cop's stall doesn't make sense.
  • She picked up the letter and held it inches from her nose, coughing and peering at me and looking back again at the letter.
  • Dozens of youths in the street combing their hair peering into gigantic foot square mirrors.
British Dictionary definitions for peering


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 peering



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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Related Abbreviations for peering


  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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