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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.
Origin of peer2
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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "I never could abide the looks of him," said Samantha, peering over Miss Vilda's shoulder.

    Timothy's Quest Kate Douglas Wiggin
  • Mr. Winship asked at last, peering out at the carriage window.

    The Bacillus of Beauty Harriet Stark
  • I dont understand, Alex said, peering through the curtain, why he should want to do anything to us.

  • peering through these bars was the face of another attendant.

    The Underdog F. Hopkinson Smith
  • He verified this on mounting the steps and peering into the vestibule through the strip of window at the sides of the outer door.

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


Performance Efficiency Evaluation Report
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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