perk up


1 [purk]
verb (used without object)
to become lively, cheerful, or vigorous, as after depression or sickness (usually followed by up ): The patients all perked up when we played the piano for them.
to act, or carry oneself, in a jaunty manner.
to put oneself forward briskly or presumptuously.
verb (used with object)
to make smart, trim, or jaunty (sometimes followed by up or out ): to perk up a suit with a new white blouse.
to raise smartly or briskly (often followed by up or out ): to perk one's head up.
perky; jaunty: a perk manner.

1350–1400; Middle English perken; perhaps akin to peer2

perkingly, adverb
perkish, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
perk1 (pɜːk)
1.  pert; brisk; lively
2.  See perk up
[C16: see perk up]

perk2 (pɜːk)
1.  (intr) (of coffee) to percolate
2.  (tr) to percolate (coffee)

perk3 (pɜːk)
informal (Brit) short for perquisite

perk up
1.  to make or become more cheerful, hopeful, or lively
2.  to rise or cause to rise briskly: the dog's ears perked up
3.  (tr) to make smarter in appearance: she perked up her outfit with a bright scarf
4.  slang (Austral) (intr) to vomit
[C14 perk, perhaps from Norman French perquer; see perch1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., "to make oneself trim or smart," perhaps from O.N.Fr. perquer "to perch" (Fr. percher; see perch (1)), on notion of a bird preening its plumage. Sense of "raise oneself briskly" is first attested 1520s; perk up "recover liveliness" is from 1650s.

1869, shortened and altered form of perquisite (q.v.); 1934 as shortened and altered form of percolate (see percolation).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
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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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

perk up

Restore to good spirits, liveliness, or good appearance, as in You're exhausted, but a cup of tea will perk you up, or The flowers perked up the whole room. [Mid-1600s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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